The number of domestic and overseas offers has been limited as European mills have been largely inactive because of scheduled maintenance or full order books. And safeguard quotas for other countries and South Korean origin have been almost filled, making the cheapest material unattractive for EU buyers because of risks related to safeguard duty.
“There are not [many] offers around due to the holiday period in Europe and full quotas and long lead times for import,” an Italian trader said. “Buyers are more focused on managing their stocks as they have enough HRC and there is more import material either on the way or in ports awaiting custom clearance.”
Low demand has been the main buyer concern and they believed that domestic prices might fall in September when both buyers and sellers would return to the market after a slow period.
Some market participants, however, have a positive outlook on the market because of sufficient demand from the automotive industry, the absence of competitive import offers, and positive signs in the Asian market.
Platts assessed domestic prices for HRC in Northwest Europe unchanged on the day at Eur640/mt ex-works Ruhr Aug. 2.
Market participants estimated tradable values at Eur630-650/mt EXW Ruhr and at Eur650/mt delivered Germany.
A steelmaker has been offering the material at Eur640/mt EXW Northwest Europe.
Platts assessed domestic prices for HRC in South Europe also were stable at Eur635/mt EXW Italy Aug. 2, reflecting tradable values reported at Eur630-640/mt EXW Italy.
Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.
Author Maria Tanatar