EU HRC market remains bullish despite minimal trading

Limited activity was heard in the bullish hot-rolled coil European market, with rising prices driven by costs rather demand revival.

Platts assessed HRC in Northern Europe stable on the day, at Eur790/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Distribution sources continued to report volumes tradable at Eur780-800/mt ex-works Ruhr, although indications at the bottom end of the range are rarer by day. Mill sources see achievable prices slightly higher at Eur790-800/mt ex-works.

What little transactional activity exists in the market was limited to small tonnages, with most distributors refraining from substantial restocking on high inventory levels.

The Italian market was assessed above Northern Europe at Eur800/mt ex-works due to comparatively higher acceptance to the Eur800/mt ex-works offer level.

A mill source reported small tonnage deals at a Eur800/mt ex-works minimum, with only one Southern integrated producer offering discounts at Eur780-800/mt ex-works. No deals were heard at these levels, however.

Market participants said the quicker adoption of higher pricing could be explained by rising energy prices, tighter supply from mill output cuts and a pre-existing lack of competing producers compared to the Northern market.

New offers were not yet heard for Italian imports, but sources expected offer levels to increase to Eur720-730/mt CIF in the near term.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Benjamin Steven