EU steel sections prices increase as mills raise offers

European domestic steel sections prices increased on week to Jan. 12, as sources cited hikes in mill offers amid high energy costs.

S&P Global Platts’ European medium sections price (category 1, S235 JR) was assessed at Eur1070/mt delivered Jan. 12, up Eur70/mt on week, reflecting the highest increase in the assessment since May 19, 2021.

One distributor source in the Benelux region cited mill offers for category 1 medium sections at Eur1060-Eur1100/mt delivered, adding that a price of Eur1050/mt delivered is workable.

He told Platts that demand is getting better this week, since last week was very quiet as most mills were also on holidays, but this week inquiries have started coming in. The source noted that customer sentiment is positive but the ongoing coronavirus situation with increasing omicron cases is putting a damper on the market.

He also highlighted the continuously high energy costs in the market, adding that some mills are now looking at energy costs as a more prominent factor in determining prices as compared to the role that scrap levels played till last year.

“There might be some correction [in electricity and gas prices] after winters but it will never go back to the levels we had last year,” he said.

One European mill source told Platts that the mill has increased prices by around Eur100/mt as compared to medium sections category 1 prices in December. The source noted that the offers are currently only workable for January shipments and indicated that tradable levels are at Eur1090/mt delivered. “Other mills are already offering February deliveries with a higher price. Some mills are offering Eur1150/mt delivered for category 1,” the source said.

He also mentioned that the market has a positive outlook on demand and consumption, but it’s too early to talk about demand as customers are still making inquiries.

— Rabia Arif, Staff