Soft demand supported buyers’ attempts to negotiate lower prices in the spot market, but trading remained slow, and deals were mainly heard for limited volumes, Fastmarkets learned.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, exw Northern Europe at €746.25 ($813.13) per tonne on Monday, up by €2.25 per tonne from €744.00 per tonne on January 19.
The index was up by €15.00 per tonne week on week and by €50.75 per tonne month on month.
In Northern Europe, one mill was heard to be seeking €800-820 per tonne ex-works for April-delivery HRC.
In general, offers from other integrated mills in the region were heard in the range of €750-780 per tonne ex-works. Most producers heard to be offering April lead times, however several buyer sources said that some producers still could do March deliveries.
Deals for small quantities were heard at €740 per tonne ex-works.
Market participants estimated the tradable market level at €730-750 per tonne ex-works.
“Demand is still low. The customers do not believe [that the price level of] €800 per tonne ex-works will be reached. The mills have too reduced output and take orders at €730-750 per tonne ex-works,” a buyer source told Fastmarkets.
A second buyer source confirmed that the market was slow, and the trading was limited on Monday. This source told Fastmarkets that the current price rise was not demand-driven and expressed doubts that it would be sustainable.
“The market in Northern Europe is still looking for a price level to settle,” a third trading source told Fastmarkets.
Meanwhile, Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, exw Italy at €735.55 per tonne on Monday, up by €0.13 per tonne from €735.42 on January 19.
The index was up by €13.05 per tonne week on week and by €47.22 per tonne month on month.
Offers in Italy were heard at €780 per tonne delivered, which nets back to around €765 per tonne ex-works.
Deals were heard to be concluded at €750 per tonne delivered, which nets back to €735 per tonne ex-works.
“[The price level] of €750 per tonne delivered is now widely accepted in the Italian market. Most probably, further raises are possible but at a slower pace,” a seller source told Fastmarkets.
Market participants estimated the tradable market levels for HRC in Italy in the range of €720-755 per tonne ex-works.
Import offers of HRC to both Northern Europe and Italy remained limited on Monday. According to sources, this was due to the import safeguards and the Red Sea shipping crisis.