EU HRC prices fall, impacted by cheap imports, falling auto demand

The European HRC market showed further signs of a gradual price correction as buyers held back their purchases in anticipation of further price decreases amid declining automotive demand, sources told S&P Global Platts Sept. 17.

Offers were heard at Eur1100/mt ex-works Ruhr, with imports from Russia more prevalent at below Eur1000/mt CIF Antwerp. CRC offers were heard as low as Eur1250/mt ex-works Ruhr.

A mill source said these latest indications were from customers who were “probably reducing the reality” to push mill offers lower.

In the Italian region, Eur1020/mt ex-works Italy was a workable HRC level. One Italian service center source also noticed the prevalence of Russian material in the market, with offers heard below Eur900/mt CIF Italy Ports.

A German distributor said import offers were coming in rather frequently, and also cited Russian material being sold between Eur900-960/mt FCA Antwerp.

“The main EU mills are still trying to get Eur1100/mt ex-works Ruhr. They say to either accept Eur1,080/mt or do not book,” the distributor said. “They’re under no pressure to book, everyone sees iron ore prices have gone down, China is increasing domestic prices and will also reduce volumes.”

Platts assessed North European HRC prices at Eur1100/mt ex-works Ruhr, down Eur15/mt on the day Sept. 17. Italian prices remained stable at Eur1028/mt ex-works Italy.

— Amanda Flint