EU HRC prices flat as market enters pre-Christmas lull

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil remained unchanged in Europe Dec. 20, as market slowed down ahead of Christmas holidays.

“Some mills have stopped giving offers and they will return to the market in the first half of January,” a steelmaker source said.

Platts assessed North European hot-rolled coil stable on the day at Eur665/mt ex-works Ruhr on Dec. 20.

Market sources reported tradable values at Eur650-680/mt ex-works Ruhr.

“I think we will no longer see prices of Eur650/mt ex-works next year, at least the mills will do their best to revive the price rise achieved in December,” a German service center said.

Outlook for January remains uncertain, with some expecting the prices to stabilize as demand would remain limited, others believe that high energy costs and market activity recovery combined with production cuts would drive prices up.

Platts assessed domestic Italian HRC prices unchanged on the day to Eur645/mt ex-works Italy on Dec. 20. The assessment was based on tradable values heard at Eur640-650/mt ex-works Italy.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Maria Tanatar, Benjamin Steven