EU HRC decreases, pace of decline slows

South European domestic hot-rolled coil offers moved down May 26, with the Northern market also seeing decreases on bearish sentiment, although indications were limited due to public holidays in the region.

More activity was seen in the Southern market, with mills reportedly decreasing offer levels in response to bearish sentiments.

Hot-rolled coil in South Europe was assessed down Eur20/mt on day at Eur970/mt ex-works Italy, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights data.

Offers were reported at Eur980/mt ex-works from a North Italian integrated producer; Eur960/mt ex-works from a South Italian producer; and Eur940/mt delivered to Italy ex-Romania.

Demand remained reduced in the South European market, although buyers were expected to return to purchasing in the near term to reserve September material.

However, a mill source was pessimistic about the revival of overall demand, thinking buyers would avoid substantive restocking in June on market uncertainties.

“The fact is, people need to buy now for September, but I don’t see the waiting game as ending fully,” the source said. “Everyone is still playing on whether to order with EU or foreign mills — there are less import offers available now India has new duties, but EU mills are still nervous and offering for July delivery at discounted rates. I think we’ll see limited trade in June, but most won’t restock fully, with poor demand extending into H2.”

A service center source confirmed the sentiment, seeing low import prices as no longer available given India’s new export duties of 15% on HRC exports.

“Local mills have decreased offers again, so it seems the trend hasn’t changed, but the decline has slowed somewhat.”

Demand was similarly muted in the Northern market, accentuated by public holidays on the day.

A service center source provided tradable value at Eur1010-1040/mt ex-works, agreed by a distributor source. A mill source saw tradable value slightly higher at around Eur1050/mt ex-works. A trader considered lower prices of Eur1000/mt ex-works as achievable.

S&P Global Commodity Insights assessed Platts HRC in Northern Europe down Eur10/mt May 26, at Eur1040/mt ex-works Ruhr.

— Benjamin Steven, Maria Tanatar