EU HRC market remains bearish on poor end-user demand

The European hot-rolled coil market remained bearish March 11 as buyers refrained from deals, awaiting prices to bottom out.

“There is no demand in the market at present at all,” a German service center source said. “Prices can go further down in the near term.”

Some market participants said mills may have to trim their output if real demand does not recover in the short term.

Steelmakers, however, remained firm regarding current output levels, as poor demand for imports has forced buyers to purchase from domestic mills.

“We are not under pressure to cut output. Capacities are good for now,” a Benelux-based mill source said.

Tradable values for domestic HRC in Northwest Europe were estimated at Eur660-680/mt ex-works Ruhr March 11. Offers were heard at Eur700/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Platts assessed the price of domestic HRC in Northwest Europe down Eur10/mt on the day at Eur690/mt ex-works Ruhr March 11.

Uncertainties regarding safeguard quotas for Q2 deterred buyers’ interest in imported HRC, with a source saying that “No one knows how long the quotas for other countries will last in Q2.” “It might get exhausted within a day or two of being announced.”

Offers for imported HRC were heard at Eur610-650/mt CIF Antwerp, all for the third-quarter arrival. Meanwhile, a deal was reported at Eur625/mt CIF Antwerp for August delivery.

Platts assessed the price of imported HRC in Northwest Europe stable on the day at Eur614/mt CIF Antwerp March 11.

Author Rituparna Nath,, Devbrat Saha,