EU hot-rolled coil market pauses for Easter break, trading scarce

The EU coils market remained stable April 19, with market activity much reduced following the holiday period.

Hot-rolled coil in North Europe was assessed stable at Eur1,350/mt ex-works Ruhr. In the South, hot-rolled coil was also stable at Eur1,265/mt ex-works Italy.

The market was talked largely quiet on the day, with most buyers out of the market for the Easter break. Sources provided tradable values and offer levels as indications, with no transactional activity reported.

“There’s barely any activity this week for the Easter holiday, we’ll be coming back to the market to look for June volumes in the near-term but for now there’s no demand at all,” one mill source said.

A distributor source agreed that demand was much reduced.

“Demand is down, because of Easter for one thing, but also because many think the market is going to move soon,” the distributor said. “No one’s going to buy when anticipating a correction.”

In the import market, demand remained reduced due to long lead-times, though offers for HRC into Antwerp on a CIF basis were down Eur15 on the day, with one trader stating HRC import prices were softening.

Sources have been consistently reluctant to look to the import market in recent weeks because of geopolitical uncertainties and long lead-times that expose buyers to risk from EU safeguarding quotas – a primary factor in the large spread of offers on the market, a second distributor source said.

— Benjamin Steven