EU HRC market activity sluggish as buyers resist purchases

European hot-rolled coil market activity remained muted March 12 as buyers awaited price stabilization ahead of booking tonnages.

“Prices may go down further in Q2,” an Italy-based service center source said.

Lack of real demand led to some market participants anticipating mills to trim output, but others mentioned that lack of interest in imports may prompt producers to remain firm.

Offers were reported at Eur700/mt ex-works Ruhr for domestic HRC in Northwest Europe.

Platts assessed the price of domestic HRC in Northwest Europe stable on the day at Eur690/mt ex-works Ruhr March 12.

Interest in imports remained muted despite offers heard from Asian producers due to uncertainties about safeguard quotas.

“No one wants to risk buying imported material,” an Italian mill source said. “There are risks of every kind from safeguard quota exhaustion to price volatilities.”

Asian mills were heard making offers at Eur610-620/mt CIF Antwerp for July arrival cargoes.

Platts assessed the price of imported HRC in Northwest Europe stable on the day at Eur614/mt CIF Antwerp March 12.

Author Rituparna