European coils market stable; market expects higher steel prices

The European HRC market was stable again Jan. 12, though prices are likely to rise imminently, following announcement of a further increase in prices from a large European mill, sources told S&P Global Platts.

A source close to the large European mill announced Eur1,160/mt delivered Europe for North European HDG prices, with a range of Eur20-25/mt for other regions, which would constitute an overall increase of around Eur30-50/mt.

A German distributor said he had heard that price increases would be possible from the large European mill but was unsure if they would come to fruition in the market.

Prices were heard to be mostly stable, though some buyers were skeptical about a price decrease, suggesting that mills were keen to keep prices high.

Since the last few days, some market participants were expecting uptake from import material to slow on account of increasing protectionist measures, with a lot of material waiting at Italian ports.

An Italy service center source said that although imports were looking less attractive, prices were not likely to fall.

“Prices will not decrease – energy costs in Europe are too high, raw material costs also a factor,” an Italian service center said. “Production is lessening but price will not decrease.”

A European mill source said the ongoing floods in Brazil could be a huge detriment to global iron ore stocks.

Platts assessed North European HRC prices stable at Eur925/mt ex-works Ruhr and in Southern Europe, prices were assessed at Eur835/mt ex-works Italy Jan. 12.

— Amanda Flint