EU CRC, HDG offers up despite limited trading

European producers have increased cold-rolled and hot-dipped galvanized coil offers in the week to Aug. 31, following ArcelorMittal’s announcement, but trading activity remained muted.

Platts assessed domestic HDG prices in Northern Europe at Eur900/mt ex-works Ruhr, up Eur50 week on week.

Official offers have been reported at Eur920-980/mt ex-works Ruhr and tradable value has been heard at Eur920/mt ex-works Northern Europe.

Due to an absence of transactions, the assessment has been settled at prices between the latest deals and this week’s price indications.

Platts assessed CRC in Northern Europe at Eur875/mt ex-works Ruhr on Aug. 31, up Eur20/mt day on day and up Eur80 week on week. Tradable value has been reported at Eur900/mt ex-works Ruhr and offers have been heard at Eur900-950/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Demand has been slow due to distributors holding high stocks and low steel consumption from end-users, particularly from the automotive industry. Distributors still have high stocks of expensive material booked in the second quarter. And automotive industry demand has been limited due to a combination of a components shortage, high energy costs and lower demand for cars caused by the economic situation.

Although some steelmaker sources reported a higher number of enquires from buyers this week, they have not resulted in transactions, and so far, it remains unclear what volumes the buyers would actually need, sources said.

Steelmakers, however, pushed offers up as they need to cover rising energy costs and the bottom coil prices had been close or below production costs, according to estimations of market participants.

“Electricity costs are already a big problem across Europe,” a trader said. “Each government is trying to find regulations. Steel price was for 100% driven by energy costs. The restocking scale is uncertain and prices are high, steel demand remains very weak from both automotive and white goods industries.”

“To be honest, it would be nice if all the mills held prices higher and resisted lower bids,” a German trader said. “But demand is not there, I think some mills would give up and undermine the price recovery.”

Platts assessed South European CRC at Eur860/mt ex-works Italy on Aug. 31, up Eur60 week on week, and assessed domestic HDG at Eur870/mt ex-works, down Eur50 over the week.

Offers for CRC have been reported at Eur900-920/mt ex-works Italy and for HDG – at Eur930/mt ex-works Italy. The assessments were increased in line with prices for hot-rolled coil, used as feedstock for CRC and HDG, due to lack of deals settled.

— Maria Tanatar, Benjamin Steven