EU HDG: North rises, Italy falls

North European hot-dip galvanised (HDG) coil prices nudged up a touch this week, supported by disruption to German production, while Italian prices edged marginally lower.

Argus‘ weekly ex-works northwest EU HDG assessment rose by €10/t to €790/t, while the weekly Italian assessment slipped by €5/t to €765/t ex-works. The weekly cif Spain Z140 0.57 marker dipped by €5/t to €780/t cif.

In northern Europe domestic offers were around €800-820/t delivered base, with some mills reporting sales of small tonnages at the top end of this range. Larger buyers still said they could achieve below €800/t.

Salzgitter’s force majeure predominantly involves HDG, as one of the company’s lines was impacted by recent flooding. This has tightened up supply somewhat in the northwest, with other mills also seeming to have less capacity.

Italian producers are seeking above €800/t base delivered for September-October deliveries. One mill offered at €800-820/t base delivered Italy depending on the customer, but has sold within that range into Germany.

Another producer was asking for €800/t, but has sold at €770/t ex-works in Italy, albeit with a high extra. The price is around €20-25/t higher than the bottom of June prices, a buyer said.

A third seller was at €810-820/t. A north EU supplier had offered into Italy at €880/t base delivered, but made no sales. A buyer estimated workable prices at €770-780/t base delivered, but was not in negotiations.

The import market was fairly quiet, but the euro-dollar exchange rate meant that previous dollar-denominated offers came down in euro terms.

Egyptian material, z140 0.57 was still priced at $850/t cfr Spain this week. Other origins were available at around €800/t cfr for the same specifications, but market participants said €780/t cfr is achievable. Taiwanese material was reportedly priced around $30-40/t above other origins. A buyer expected to be able to obtain €790/t cfr for 0.5 z100 Indian HDG. A Vietnamese offer was still heard at $870/t cfr Spain for z140 0.57. Indian 0.5mm Z275 was offered into Antwerp at $940-950/t cfr Antwerp. Traders said interest was limited in the north with holidays already under way.

“Vietnam [previously] increased prices but now they are more flexible. They are not pushing for new orders,” a trader said. “Mills are hungry and summer holidays are here, so expect nothing good out of this,” a buyer said. “No big movements will be done, activity is really depressed,” another buyer said, adding that they are selling 20pc below budget so far this month.

Lora Stoyanova, Argus Media