EU HRC buyers slow down procurement due to healthy stocks

Buyers of European hot-rolled coil slowed down procurement due to healthy inventory levels, while steelmakers remained firm with offers Feb. 5.

Uncertainties about the near-term price trend and volumes booked from imports in Q4 weighed on buyers’ sentiment as they resorted to limiting spot purchase volumes.

“Buyers have enough material in stocks, so deals are settled only for smaller volumes of needed specifications,” a German service center source said.

Producers held on to offer levels due to healthy order books in Q1.

Several market participants remained concerned about the price trend’s sustainability as real demand remained absent, while several idled blast furnaces have come back online.

“The demand from automotives and construction is not that great, and real demand may not improve till next month,” a German service center source said.

Deals were heard at Eur750-760/mt ex-works Ruhr on average, and special transactions were reported at Eur725/mt ex-works Ruhr. The latter prices were not available to the majority of customers. Tradable values were reported at Eur720-760/mt ex-works Ruhr. Offers were reported at Eur750-780/mt ex-works Ruhr for April delivery.

Platts assessed the price of domestic hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe down Eur5/mt day on day at Eur750/mt ex-works Ruhr Feb. 5.

Interest in imports remained dull due to concerns about safeguard restrictions and geopolitical conditions impacting freight rates.

Platts assessed the price of imported HRC in Northwest Europe stable on the day at Eur660/mt CIF Antwerp Feb. 5.

Author Rituparna Nathrituparna.nath@spglobal.comMaria