EU hot-rolled coil buyers avoid booking on lack of clear outlook

Trading activity in the European hot-rolled coil market remained slow on Sept. 29, as buyers have been holding back from making new deals.

A lack of clear outlook on demand, exchange rate and costs made buyers cautious to take any additional volumes.

In addition, distributors have high stocks of the material that had been booked at high prices in the first half of the year and they have been struggling with destocking amid low demand from end consumers, such as automotive and white goods industries.

“Distributors still have enough material to wait, I do not think that we will see any new deals for substantial tonnages this year,” an Italian trader said.

Two sources said that some service centers in both Germany and Italy have decided to stop operations during the winter due to surging energy prices.

Steelmakers, in the meantime, have been reluctant to give discounts due to high production costs and in hope that implemented production cuts will bring supply and demand in balance.

Some market participants, however, believed that the mills will have to cut prices soon, as they need to fill order books to keep mills running.

Platts assessed hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe at Eur735/mt ex-works Ruhr Sept. 29, unchanged on the day.

Two steelmakers reported tradable value at Eur750/mt ex-works Ruhr. A German service center also estimated achievable prices at Eur750/mt ex-works Ruhr and reported official offers at Eur800-850/mt ex-works Ruhr. Additionally, a Northern European service center said that tradable value was slightly lower at Eur740-750/mt ex-works Ruhr.

A trader estimated tradable value at Eur720/mt ex-works Ruhr and said that German mills have been offering HRC at Eur750/mt ex-works Ruhr. Another trader reported tradable value at Eur720-740/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Platts assessed hot-rolled coil in southern Europe down Eur10 on the day at Eur740/mt ex-works Italy Sept. 29.

The assessment was based on tradable value estimated by market participants at Eur730-750/mt ex-works Italy, while offers have been reported at Eur750-770/mt ex-works Italy.

Some overseas suppliers have decreased offers for their HRC in Southern Europe. Offers of the material from India have been heard at Eur680-695/mt CIF Italy. Offers from other Asian mills have been reposted at Eur700-710/me CIF Italy.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Maria Tanatar