CRC, HDG prices flat across Europe, seen stabilizing in July

Trading in Europe for cold-rolled and hot-dipped galvanized coil remained “frozen” in the week to Wednesday June 28, but prices seem to have hit rock bottom and are likely to stabilize in the short term, sources told Fastmarkets.The spot market has remained quiet across Europe, with both mills and buyers continuing to hold back from trading.

Firm offers were also rare in the market because – until recently – mills were largely focused on long-term contracts negotiations with end users in automotive industry, rather than on spot sales.

But negotiations for long-term contracts with buyers in the automotive industry for the second half of 2023 are reportedly being finalized at levels similar to that for the first half of 2023, which was considered to be positive for the market.

Buyers, meanwhile, are largely maintaining medium to low levels of stocks and were reported to only be making hand-to-mouth bookings lately.

One integrated mill in the region was offering CRC at €780 ($854) per tonne EXW and HDG at €800 per tonne EXW, both for September delivery, sources told Fastmarkets.

An Italian mill offered August-delivery HDG to Germany at €800 per tonne CPT, which is unchanged from a week earlier.

But buyers’ price ideas for CRC in the region were reported at €750-760 per tonne EXW, and no higher than €780 per tonne for HDG, sources said.

Nevertheless, sources expected the mood in the market to change in the coming weeks, with mills possibly even attempting to raise prices.

“The recent disruptions in Germany and France might result in tighter flat steel supply in Europe – we need a bit more time to assess the impact,” a trading source in Germany said.

On Monday, authorities ordered the suspension of steelmaking operations at ArcelorMittal’s Fos-sur-Mer site in southern France, on environmental and worker-safety considerations. The final decision on the plan is expected later in the week to July 7, sources said.

On the same day, German steelmaker Salzgitter declared force majeure on steel deliveries because of disruptions resulting from heavy rains in Germany.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel cold-rolled coil domestic, exw Northern Europe was €760-780 per tonne on Wednesday, widening downward by €10 per tonne from €770-780 per tonne on June 21.

The corresponding weekly price assessment for steel hot-dipped galvanized coil domestic, exw Northern Europe was €780-800 per tonne on Wednesday, unchanged from June 21.

Meanwhile, there were few import offers to Europe heard over the past week, with some suppliers heard to have withdrawn their offers.

Notably, South Korean and Indian mills were reportedly out of the market during the assessment week.

In the second half of June, August-shipment CRC from Japan was reportedly sold to Italy at €680 per tonne CFR. But Japanese suppliers were not in the market this past week, sources said.

A mill from Vietnam was targeting $700-710 per tonne CFR for August-shipment CRC to Europe.

An offer of 0.5mm Z100 HDG from Vietnam was reported at €790-795 per tonne CFR Antwerp, but only for September-shipment coil, since August-shipment material was already sold out.

“Import prices seem to be stable, but as the difference between imports and domestics are relatively small just a few buyers have appetite to purchase. Besides that, if they want to buy it’s only for limited volumes, as risks are high,” a second trading source said.

Published by: Julia Bolotova