EU HRC market demand remains weak, prices stabilize

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in the European market remained unchanged Nov. 10 as trading activity remained muted.

Platts assessed hot-rolled coil in northwest Europe stable on the day at Eur640/mt ex-works Ruhr.

A service center source reported deals and offers at the equivalent of Eur630-640/mt ex-works northern Europe.

A German distributor reported deals for smaller tonnages of coil at Eur630-650/mt ex-works Ruhr.

A steelmaker said that transactions have been made at Eur630-670/mt ex-works northern Europe. Two producers reported tradable value at Eur650/mt ex-works northern Europe each.

And a service center source estimated achievable prices at Eur630-650/mt ex-works Ruhr.

European steelmakers have continued to offer December production coil, indicating empty order books, sources said.

Distributors have been focused on reducing inventories ahead of the year end and have been showing little interest in making new deals. Some sources, however, believe that by the end of November the buyers would book some volumes for first quarter delivery to restock some specifications.

Demand from end users, including automotive industry, has also remained reduced.

“Deals are done sporadically, there is no restocking or activity rise from end users,” a producer said.

“The mills are still able to give short delivery time,” a northern European distributor said. “And some optimists believe that the first quarter will bring better demand, but I think that the outlook is still unclear and I do not believe in miracles.”

Production cuts introduced by European buyers are expected to provide some support to domestic prices.

Platts assessed southern European HRC stable on day at Eur635/mt ex-works Italy.

The assessment was based on tradable values reported at Eur630-650/mt ex-works southern Europe.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Maria Tanatar