EU mills begin to reduce HRC offers amid slow market

Some European steelmakers started to lower hot-rolled coil offers Sept. 8 in an attempt to spur buying activity in a slow market.

A German steelmaker has been offering HRC at Eur640/mt ex-works Ruhr, down by about Eur30/mt from its previous offers. A Northwest European reroller also decreased its offers to Eur625/mt delivered Germany.

Overall offers from the integrated mills in Northwest Europe have been reported at Eur640-690/mt ex-works.

Market participants have estimated tradable values at Eur630-670/mt ex-works Ruhr, with a majority of prices heard at Eur640-650/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe down by Eur10/mt on day to Eur645/mt ex-works Ruhr Sept. 8.

“Customers are not running for orders even for lower prices,” a German service center said.

Demand from end-consumers has been limited, particularly from construction industry. Outlook for steel demand from automotive manufacturers has also been negative, sources said.

Distributors, in the meantime, have been avoiding bookings as they have been focused on destocking of material, creating competition with steelmakers.

The fourth-quarter safeguard quota was expected to fill within the first couple of days of October because significant volumes were awaiting customs clearance at European ports. And buyers have been trying to sell current stocks before cheaper material will clear customs in the fourth quarter.

“The current situation cannot continue much longer,” a Northwest European service center source said. “I think that the mills will try to extend maintenance to prevent a price fall.”

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in South Europe down Eur10/mt day on day to Eur630/mt ex-works Italy Sept. 8.

Offers have been heard at Eur650/mt ex-works Italy, and tradable values have been reported at Eur620-640/mt ex-works Italy.

Author Maria Tanatar