EU HRC buyers refrain from purchases amid price volatility, longer lead times

European hot-rolled coil buyers refrained from booking volumes March 7 due to volatile prices and poor demand.

Bearish sentiment kept buyers away from making deals. “No buying, as anything booked now would get cheaper within couple of days,” a service center source said.

Producers may not soften offers further as imported materials are not preferred due to longer lead times, other sources said.

Domestic European mills “may not have to reduce offers to a great deal as no buyer will opt for imported material due to concerns about safeguard quotas,” a German service center source said. “When needed, buyers would have to get material from domestic mills.”

Offers were reported at Eur730-740/mt ex-works Northwest Europe and tradable values were estimated at Eur690-705/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Platts assessed the price of domestic HRC in Northwest Europe stable on the day at Eur700/mt ex-works Ruhr March 7.

In Southern Europe a deal was reported at Eur670/mt, while tradable values were reported at Eur670-680/mt ex-works Italy.

Platts assessed the domestic price of HRC in South Europe at Eur675/mt EXW Italy March 7, down by Eur5 on the day.

A deal for imported HRC was heard at Eur590/mt CIF Italy from Vietnam.

Platts assessed the price of imported HRC in South Europe at Eur590/mt CIF Italy March 7, down by Eur10 on the day.

Imported HRC was not preferred, despite being priced competitively, due to uncertainty regarding safeguard quotas.

“I don’t expect any deals,” a Spain-based trader said referring to imported HRC. “If someone books tonnages now, the arrival will be end of July in Spain, when summer break will start, so buyers will prefer closing deals for end of August arrival and ask for Eur20-30/mt lesser than current levels.”

Platts assessed the price of imported HRC stable on the day at Eur614/mt CIF Antwerp March 7.

Author Devbrat Sahadevbrat.saha@spglobal.comRituparna Nathrituparna.nath@spglobal.comMaria