EU HRC trading remains limited, buyers wait for prices to cool

The EU coils market remained quiet April 11 as buyers continued to sit behind sufficient inventories in resisting recent price highs.

Buyers reported price levels as much unchanged week beginning April 11 with sources anticipating a market correction.

A service center source reported tradable value at Eur1350/mt ex-works Ruhr, stable from offers heard the previous week. Hot-rolled coil in Northern Europe moved down Eur22.5 to Eur1365/mt April 8, with mill offers heard as softening against buyer resistance to higher levels.

In Northern Europe, one service center source reported mill offers between Eur1350-1400/mt ex-works. The source reported concern in the market that mills would have to renegotiate longer-term contracts due to rising productions costs.

Energy costs have been heard as the primary price driver at current, with some Electric Arc Furnace mills moving to three-day per week short-work in order to manage rising electricity prices.

In South Europe, prices were heard further reduced on the day, with mill offers reported in the Eur1280-1300/mt range according to one Italian service center source. The source reported trading of “very low volumes”, with much market activity heard as stopped given buyer reluctance to restock at current levels.

Italian mills were heard as re-entering the market week ended April 8, offering at lower prices to win back customer good faith, having previously cancelled contracts in the wake of the war in Ukraine and its subsequent impact on supply chains.

S&P Global Commodity Insights assessed HRC in North Europe stable at Eur1365/mt ex-works Ruhr, HRC in South Europe was assessed down Eur10 at Eur1310/mt ex-works Italy.

— Benjamin Steven