EU HRC prices stabilize in slow market

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Europe were unchanged on July 7 as market activity remained limited.

Demand remained limited due to combination of sufficient stocks of some distributors, slow demand from end-users as well as uncertain price trend. A seasonal slowdown in the second half of summer has also continued to the market lull.

Traded volumes have been limited due to restocking of smaller tonnages, sources said.

“There is some market activity, as some buyers book to avoid future shortage and logistics issues in September,” a service-center source said. “They just want to get some volumes to make sure that they have needed material after summer maintenances.”

The combination of scheduled maintenances at some mills and unplanned production issues at other plants would support the domestic prices. However, the reduction of availability is unlikely to be enough to result in a substantial price recovery, sources said.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe at Eur680/mt ex-works Ruhr on July 7, unchanged on day.

Market participants have reported tradable values at Eur660-690/mt ex-works Ruhr, with the majority of the data heard at Eur670-690/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in South Europe stable on day at Eur660/mt ex-works Italy on July 7.

Tradable values have been reported at Eur650-670/mt ex-works Italy.

Europe-based buyers have been holding back from import coil purchases due to long lead times and uncertain price trends. In addition, the number of offers available in Europe have been limited.

Offers of Asian HRC have been heard at Eur610-630/mt CIF Antwerp and at Eur610/mt CIF Italy.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Author Maria Tanatar