EU HDG: Uptick continues

London, 14 December (Argus) — Prices have started rising in the European hot-dip galvanised (HDG) market in the last couple of weeks, with more deals heard concluded.

In the northwest, offers were heard in the region of €750-785/t delivered for base-grade material, with one leading European mill heard offering €800/t base. An effective price for 0.55mm was heard at €920/t delivered, although this was unworkable for buyers. Importing origins have been raising offers too this week. Offers from Vietnam have risen by at least $50/t in the last two weeks, with offers this week heard at $865-895/t for 0.57mm Z140 cfr Antwerp or Sagunto, depending on the reroller. Demand for 0.57mm was lower than in previous weeks, with customers requiring less-common specifications.

In Italy, prices were also rising. Last week, offers of €720-740/t base delivered were still on the table, while offers this week are at €750-780/t base delivered. Some Italian mills have stopped offering outside Italy in the last couple of days as they take advantage of domestic price increases.

In Spain, domestic purchases were made at €720/t base delivered last week, with the same mill offering €20/t higher today at €740/t delivered. South Korea has remained out of the market in the last couple of days, assessing the price increases. After securing substantial tonnage at $780/t cfr Sagunto, India increased offers this week to $820/t cfr for 0.57mm Z140, with further bookings totalling 20,000-40,000t heard. Turkey, mostly out of the market for weeks with prices too high to be workable to Europe, was offering at $800-820/t fob this week for 0.5mm z100. This would equate to a cfr price upwards of $900/t cfr, which, while uncompetitive, is closer to European offers than it has previously been.

Increased buying in recent weeks has largely come from stockists, steel service centres and traders. With Christmas approaching, real demand levels will be clearer in the new year.

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