EU value-added coils market awaits return of buyers

The EU value added coils market was in wait-and-see mode April 20, with buyers heard as out of the market for the Easter break.

In South Europe, prices continued to soften, with cold-rolled coil falling to Eur1365/mt on the day, down Eur35 on week. Hot-dip galvanized material was also down Eur35, assessed at Eur1415/mt ex-works Italy.

Market participants reported massively reduced demand, with no transactional activity reported on week. An Italian mill source said mills were “waiting for buyers to return” to the market, with reduced demand preceding the holiday period.

Imported material was seen as a major factor in driving prices down in the South, with imported galvanized material popular given the rapid exhaustion of safeguard quotas from China and South Korea.

In Northern Europe, prices remained stable on week, with cold-rolled coil holding steady at Eur1450/mt, and hot-dip galvanized material assessed stable at Eur1500/mt.

“Demand for Cold-rolled is completely gone with automotive, hot-rolled material is prioritized for production and is under a lot more pressure at the moment,” said a service center source.

A trader source confirmed the absence of automotive, saying requisite components were missing across the market – while shortages were previously concentrated on semi-conductor availability, the source reported gaps across the automotive supply chain.

— Benjamin Steven