EU HRC stable at northern price floor, Italy attracts competitive imports

S&P Global Commodity Insights assessed hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe stable July 25 at Eur860/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Distribution sources reported achievable prices as stable at Eur850-860/mt ex-works Ruhr, with most activity concentrated at the top end of the range.

A mill source said one large German mill had been trading below the Eur800/mt mark, even as low as Eur770/mt in some cases, both ex-works Ruhr. However, a German distributor source clarified that these deals would only be seen between affiliated companies – not representative of general spot market activity.

The Eur850-860/mt level was agreed by another mill source, seeing current prices as the floor.

“It looks like the HRC market price has definitely reached its bottom and intends to resume on a slight positive curve,” said the source. “We’re seeing Q4 RFQs circulating now from general industry, alongside strong signs of recovery from the automotive sector.”

Despite positive indications, the source questioned to what extent requests for quotes were speculative rather than representative of real needs.

In the southern market, sources gave tradable value indications at Eur760-800/mt ex-works Italy, with one trader reporting deals in the same range. Offers were heard stable at Eur800-820/mt ex-works Italy.

A service center source saw decreased potential for price recovery in southern Europe due to competitive import offers from a bearish Asian market.

An offer was heard at Eur680/mt CIF Italy ex-Taiwan from one service center, with other offers reported by a trader source at Eur700/mt and below, CFR Italy.

HRC in Italy was assessed at Eur785/mt ex-works on the day, according to S&P Global data.

— Benjamin Steven, Maria Tanatar