EU HRC buyers avoid stockpiling due to uncertain short-term price trend

The buyers of domestic European hot-rolled coil avoided stockpiling due to uncertainties about short-term price trend on Jan. 23.

Steelmakers held to bullish offers due to healthy order books in Q1 but were yet to achieve their target as buyers remained reluctant to pay up.

“Buyers are just booking the volumes they absolutely need and avoid building stocks,” a German service center source said. “Such approach does not help the mills’ attempts to raise the prices.”

Real demand remained lackluster, which concerned several market participants about the sustainability of the current price trend especially with several blast furnaces back online which would add to supplies in the coming months.

Deals for domestic HRC in Northwest Europe were heard at Eur750-770/mt ex-works Ruhr. Mills continued to offer April-May delivery cargoes at Eur800/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Platts assessed the price of domestic HRC in Northwest Europe up Eur15/mt on the day at Eur760/mt ex-works Ruhr Jan. 23.

Tradable value was estimated at Eur740-750/mt ex-works and at Eur770/mt delivered Italy. Italian mills made offers at Eur760-780/mt delivered Italy.

Platts assessed the price of domestic HRC in South Europe up Eur10/mt on the day at Eur750/mt ex-works Italy Jan. 23.

Buyers in Italy were heard vetting import offers made by Indian and Turkish mills as they still had safeguard quotas left for Q1.

Indian and South Korean mills offered HRC at Eur670-680/mt CIF Italy. Mills from Turkey made offers at Eur690-700/mt CIF Italy.

Tradable values were estimated at Eur660-680/mt CIF Italy for imports from India and South Korea.

Platts assessed the price of imported HRC in South Europe stable on the day at Eur670/mt CIF Italy on Jan. 23.

Author Rituparna Nathrituparna.nath@spglobal.comMaria