EU HRC market activity low, negative pressure from import disappears

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Europe remained largely unchanged on July 28, as summer market slowdown started.

Although sentiment has been largely negative, filled safeguard quotas for some Asian countries that had been offering the most competitive prices provided some support to the EU market.

“Vietnam, Taiwan and other ‘other counties’ quota exporters and South Korea have their quotas almost filled [for the third quarter],” a service center said. “And I heard that some volumes would remain in the European ports until the start of the fourth quarter to get custom cleared. So buyers simply do not want to risk and import when they might pay safeguard duties or keep material in ports until start of 2024.”

Offers of HRC from Vietnam have been reported at Eur580/mt CIF Antwerp and from India and Turkey at Eur600-620/mt CIF Antwerp, prices excluded anti-dumping duties if applicable.

In South Europe, import offers of the material from India, Turkey and Japan have been heard at Eur595-620/mt CIF Italy.

Apart from seasonal demand slowdown market participants have been concerned about end-user demand.

“Demand is weak, automotive industry had been performing fine, but outlook is not positive, steel consumption from construction is bad and white goods are also not OK,” a Northwest European service center said.

Some support of the domestic prices might come from production cuts and stoppages for maintenances, but to see any effects from the measures biggest mills need to take steps to reduce output, according to market sources.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe down Eur5/mt on the day to Eur645/mt ex-works Ruhr on July 28.

Market participants estimated tradable values at Eur630-650/mt ex-works Ruhr, with majority of price points reported at Eur650/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Offers have been heard at Eur650/mt ex-works Ruhr and at Eur660/mt delivered Germany.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in South Europe unchanged on day at Eur635/mt ex-works Italy on July 28.

The assessment was based on tradable values heard at Eur630-650/mt ex-works Italy.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.


Author: Maria Tanatar