EU HRC market mood bearish on low demand

Sentiment in the European hot-rolled coil market was downward on Aug. 19 due to weak demand, caused by high stocks of distributors and limited end-users’ consumption.

Trading activity is unlikely to see a substantial recovery in September as distributors have high stocks of coil. In addition, they are expected to focus on destocking to minimize inventories by the year end, taking into account limited steel consumption by end-users.

Platts assessed hot-rolled coil in Northern Europe down Eur5/mt day on day at Eur745/mt ex-works Ruhr on Aug. 19.

Two sources reported offers at Eur750/mt ex-works Ruhr, another three market participants estimated achievable prices at Eur750/mt ex-works Ruhr.

One source, however, said that the European buyers viewed achievable prices at Eur700/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Two sources reported unconfirmed deals at prices around Eur700/mt ex-works Ruhr. This information, however, has not been widely confirmed in the market.

“Market is silent, the mills are desperate for orders as there is no hope for restocking,” a Northern European distributor said. “Offers are at Eur750/mt ex-works and there are rumors that some deals have been settled at Eur700/mt ex-works.”

Some market participants believe that the European steelmakers need to further reduce production to balance supply and demand as equipment stoppages and output cuts introduced this summer were not sufficient to support domestic prices.

Platts assessed hot-rolled coil in Southern Europe down Eur10/mt day on day at Eur710/mt ex-works Italy on Aug. 19.

Tradable value has been heard at Eur700-720/mt ex-works Italy.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Maria Tanatar, Benjamin Steven