EU coil market stabilises in fourth quarter: Viganò

Cesare Viganò, head of ArcelorMittal CLN in Italy, believes the European coil market will stabilise in the fourth quarter after the price spike registered since the end of July.

The executive spoke during a webinar organised by Siderweb. He noted that the rapid increase of prices in the Italian and European markets was supported by the recovery of prices and demand in China. This was added to by the pick-up of demand in Europe and the lack of import opportunities for buyers.

The market now seems to be stabilising, but it is expected to hold until the end of the year as most European mills are already accepting orders for deliveries in the beginning of 2021.

“In September we have seen for the first time the activity in Europe back to pre-Covid levels,” Viganò said. “We hope this positive trend will continue into Q4, but at the moment most signals indicate a stabilisation of the market.” Global raw material prices have corrected slightly, he added.

The automotive sector has during recent weeks seen a quick rebound and some supply chain problems due to the lack of availability of material in the market.

According to Kallanish price series, northern European hot rolled coil prices recovered some €80/tonne since the end of July, while Italian prices jumped even more, by €120/t. Cesare Viganò said the recovery was also possible due to the lack of import options for buyers. He noted that European imports of coils during the first eight months of the year were down over -30% year-on-year. Italy nevertheless saw imports drop more than other EU countries, with imports down over -50% y-o-y.