EU HRC market supported by full order books, uncompetitive imports

Good order book of the EU steelmakers and lack of competitive imports supported domestic European hot-rolled coil prices Dec. 7, while demand remained limited.

Most mills in Northwest Europe made offers for February and March shipments although buyers remained reluctant about building inventories amid uncertainties about prices in the near-term.

“The buyers are avoiding buying big volumes as they understand the risks that the uptrend might end abruptly,” an Italian mill source said.

Mills continued to offer domestic HRC at Eur690-720/mt ex-works Ruhr with no deals heard during the day. Tradable values were reported at Eur680-690/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Platts assessed the price of domestic hot-rolled coil up Eur5/mt on the day at Eur685/mt ex-works Ruhr Dec. 7.

The market also remained concerned about capacity increases in the absence of real demand.

Some major Northwest European mills are expected to restart their blast furnaces in coming weeks.

Buyers have been more focused on the domestic supply due to high offers for the overseas coil and longer lead times.

Indonesian mills offered HRC at Eur650/mt CIF Antwerp and Turkish mills made offers at Eur670/mt CIF Antwerp, including anti-dumping duty. However, no transactions were reported.

Platts assessed the price of imported HRC in Northwest Europe up Eur10/mt on the day at Eur645/mt CIF Antwerp Dec. 7.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Author Rituparna Nath, Maria Tanatar