EU HRC stable in slow market, upward trend to restart in January

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil were unchanged on Dec. 30 due to slowdown in seasonal activity by the year end.

The prices are expected to resume the positive trend that had started in December after both buyers and sellers return to the market by mid-January, sources said.

“Market seems positive for January, but now the market is just dead,” a trader said.

Northern European steelmakers have increased HRC offers to Eur730-740/mt ex-works Ruhr. But tradable values have been heard at Eur680-700/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Platts assessed North European hot-rolled coil unchanged on the day at Eur680/mt ex-works Ruhr Dec. 30.

The bullish market sentiment has been supported by improved demand from distributors those need to restock, reduced domestic supply caused by production cuts and less competitive import. In addition, the steelmakers need higher coil prices to cover energy costs, sources said.

The assessment for domestic HRC in Southern Europe was also stable day on day at Eur670/mt ex-works Italy Dec. 30.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Maria Tanatar