EU long steel mills hike offers amid surging energy costs

Northwest European domestic rebar prices firmed in the week to Aug. 31, as mills hiked offers sharply amid rising production costs.

Platts assessment of TSI Northwest Europe Rebar was up Eur5/mt to Eur955/mt ex-works on Aug. 31.

New offers for rebar were heard above Eur1,000/mt delivered in Northern Europe on Aug. 30, market sources said, but no deals were heard booked at this level yet.

“Due to increasing energy costs, there is more acceptance of higher prices, and many mills have followed suit,” said a distributor in the Benelux region who had bought 500 mt at an effective price of Eur965/mt delivered just prior to the jump in offers. “Rebar demand overall still needs to pick up after the holidays though.”

“In Germany, the local offers are now above Eur1000/mt delivered but there are opportunities to buy from elsewhere for cheaper, and customers are now trying to buy at the bottom,” an Italian mill source said. “Eur960-970/mt delivered Germany is where people are currently buying but offers are Eur50/mt higher.”

Platts assessment of European medium sections price (category 1, S235 JR) rose sharply by Eur42.50/mt on the week to Eur1,225/mt delivered Aug. 31.

Distributor sources reported the lowest offer available on Aug. 31 at Eur1250/mt delivered, but no deals were heard concluded at this level.

“We’re not in the market yet or giving a price, as there is no real request or demand, but we don’t see anything workable below Eur1250/mt delivered,” one European mill source said.

One large European mill was heard to target Eur1350/mt delivered for new September and October deliveries, sources said.

“We are pausing and cutting production during peak energy costs, and we’re not ruling out longer stoppages,” a second mill source said.

The benchmark German year-ahead power contract on EEX settled at Eur610.03/MWh Aug. 31, down from a record Eur985/MWh Aug. 26, exchange data showed. The contract broke through the Eur500/MWh mark for the first time on Aug. 16.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Viral Shah