Domestic, import HRC prices slide in Italy

Both domestic and import prices for hot-rolled coil declined in Italy on Nov. 11 as producers gave discounts to stimulate deals.

Platts assessed domestic southern European HRC down Eur15/mt on day at Eur635/mt ex-works Italy.

Although official offers remained at Eur640-650/mt ex-works, a big Italian steelmaker was reported to make deals for bigger volumes of coil at Eur600-630/mt ex-works.

Tradable value has been heard at Eur620-630/mt ex-works and bids at Eur610-620/mt ex-works.

“It seems that some mill decided to reduce prices to sell bigger volumes before they would stop production in December,” an Italian distributor said. “I do not think you can get such low prices for small volumes, but if a pipemaker decides to buy a bigger lot, I think the price of Eur600/mt delivered is achievable.”

Two sources also reported transactions at Eur600/mt delivered Italy, but both said that they were uncertain about the information.

Import offers from Asia have also moved down from offers heard earlier this week at Eur600/mt CIF Italy to Eur570-585/mt CIF Italy. The new offers, however, have been made through international traders, according to market sources, and the new offers directly from Asian mills are likely to become available next week.

Strengthening of the euro against the US dollar combined with weak Far East flat steel markets supported the decline, sources said.

Platts assessed import southern European HRC down Eur10/mt on day at Eur590/mt CIF Italy on Nov. 11.

Demand remained limited due to sufficient inventories of distributors, seasonal destocking by the year end and weaker steel consumption by end-users continued to add downward pressure on HRC prices.

Several market sources, however, said that more distributors have been active in the market at the end of the week as distributors need to secure some volumes for January.

Although the demand revival is likely to be short-lived, domestic HRC prices in Europe are unlikely to drop further down, according to market sources. The positive effect from production cuts and high production costs are expected to contribute to the price stability, market participants said.

Platts assessed hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe stable on the day at Eur640/mt ex-works Ruhr on Nov. 11.

Two producer sources reported tradable value at Eur640-650/mt ex-works Ruhr each.

Two traders estimated achievable prices at Eur640/mt ex-works Ruhr and at Eur640-650/mt ex-works Ruhr, respectively.

A service-center source reported tradable value at Eur650/mt ex-works Ruhr and offers at Eur700/mt ex-works Ruhr and at Eur720/mt ex-works Northern Europe.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Maria Tanatar, Benjamin Steven