EU hot-rolled coil prices stable as bullish mood prevails

Sentiments were cautiously bullish in the EU hot-rolled coil market July 19, despite the start of the traditional summer wind-down period.

Platts assessed hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe stable at Eur855/mt ex-works Ruhr on July 19.

Market participants reported higher offers at Eur880-900/mt ex-works Northern Europe on the day, but tradable levels remained lower in a range of Eur850-860/mt ex-works Ruhr.

A mill source reported deals at Eur850-875/mt delivered Ruhr ex-Italy, the equivalent of Eur840-865/mt ex-works Ruhr.

In South Europe, HRC was also assessed stable at Eur780/mt ex-works Italy.

“We are trying to reach the point where domestic HRC prices start with an eight,” a mill source said.

Offers were indeed heard at Eur800/mt ex-works Italy on the day, with deals reported slightly lower at Eur780-790/mt ex-works Italy.

Trader sources had mixed expectations on tradable value, reporting prices of Eur770-780/mt and Eur800/mt as achievable in the current market, both ex-works Italy.

Another mill source saw indications of demand recovery in the Italian market, although overall activity remained low given the holiday period.

“This week a lot of people went on holiday but even now the market is more alive than it was a few weeks ago,” the second mill source said. “It’s a good sign – maybe not a full-scale recovery, but at least a slight rebound. Imports are stable and current exchange rates and lead times mean they’re unattractive to buyers which will help domestic recovery.”

Offers for import material were heard at Eur750-760/mt CFR Italy ex-Asia on the day. Cheaper material was reported from the Turkish market, although offers were scarce given recent holidays and a wait-and-see sentiment as exporters gauged acceptable price levels in the market.

A trader saw an offer for Turkish material at Eur730/mt CFR Italy ex-Turkey, duty included.

— Benjamin Steven, Maria Tanatar