EU HRC import offers drop, India exhausts quotas

Hot rolled coil import offers into Europe have moved down somewhat during the last two weeks, as an immediate consequence of the global cooling of steel prices, Kallanish learns from sources.

The nominal reduction in prices, nevertheless, has not had an impact on the domestic European market. This is because of the anti-dumping measures in place as well as the safeguard system.

Indian suppliers are now offering HRC into southern Europe at some €665/tonne ($800) cfr, down almost €30/t since the beginning of January. A trader confirms the figure but adds these quotes are mainly coming from traders, shorting the market at a moment of uncertainty. “Similar offers have been seen from Taiwan, but the reality is no one is ordering in Europe at the moment,” the trader comments.

The new offers can nevertheless only be considered for second-quarter deliveries as Q1 quotas for Indian HRC have already been exhausted. According to the official EU quota system, India used up all of its over 160,000 tonnes of tariff-free quotas available.

Other countries, such as Turkey and Russia, still have ample quotas available. Indian-origin HRC imports will in Q2 also have the possibility to use up to 30% of the “other countries” sub-group, meaning a further 300,000t of tariff-free allowances from India will become available for the market.

“Prices are starting to turn in the international market, but domestic European prices are holding,” another trader notes. “India seems the only alternative to European supplies, but for deliveries from May onwards. Turkey is less competitive due to duties, and other suppliers like South Korea are not widely offering volumes.”

Sources contacted also add that no price reduction has been observed yet for cold rolled or hot-dip galvanized coil.