EU HRC prices inch up despite low end-user demand

Domestic prices for European hot-rolled coil rose slightly on May 7, despite limited end-user demand and insubstantial re-stocking.

“Demand is still low, and the market is waiting for production cuts before buyers would be willing to book volumes,” a German trader source said. “Costs are high so the mills really cannot accept the lower prices.”

Re-stocking activity has picked up, however sources said that real demand remains weak.

“[The] level of real activity is still weak,” an Italian service center source said. “Although there has been some demand improvement from restocking.”

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe up Eur5/mt on the day at Eur640/mt ex-works Ruhr May 7.

Tradable values have been reported at Eur630-650/mt ex-works Ruhr. No deals or offers from integrated mills have been heard.

Interest in imported HRC from Asia has been dull because of longer lead times and risks related to safeguard measures in the EU. While exporters from Turkey have been benefiting from available quota volumes and shorter lead times.

“Asian mills are trying to increase offers by $20/mt and there is no interest in imports as lead times are long,” the trader source said.

“Taiwan offers [are] not interesting as the material would be custom cleared in October,” another service center source said.

Import offers from Turkey were reported at Eur620/mt CIF Antwerp including anti-dumping duties, while offers from Asia were reported at Eur610-620/mt CIF Antwerp.

Platts assessed domestic prices in South Europe up Eur6/mt on the day at Eur635/mt ex-works Italy on May 7.

Tradable values were heard at Eur635/mt ex-works Italy, and offers were reported at Eur660/mt ex-works Italy.

Platts assessed imported HRC in South Europe stable on the day at Eur605/mt CIF Italy.

Offers were reported at Eur610-615/mt CIF Italy, and at Eur620/mt from Turkey, including anti-dumping duties.

Devbrat Saha | Maria Tanatar