European CRC, HDG prices up despite subdued end-user demand, more rises likely

European prices for hot-dipped galvanized coil and cold-rolled coil have risen over the past week amid improved buying and bullish sentiment, even though end-user demand was still limited, Fastmarkets heard on Wednesday January 18.
Buying interest for CRC and HDG in Europe has started to pick up, with buyers seen to be digesting recent price rises.

The limited availability of CRC and HDG, because of output cuts and increased lead times at mills, was supporting the prices.

“Stocks [of CRC and HDG] are not high at distributors, and import stocks in Antwerp are also quite low,” a trading source in Italy told Fastmarkets. “European mills can comfortably wait, and buyers are already starting to accept higher prices.”

In Southern Europe, CRC offers were heard at €850-870 ($919-941) per tonne delivered, which would net back to €820-840 per tonne ex-works. HDG offers in the region were heard at €870-880 per tonne delivered (€840-850 per tonne ex-works).

Italy-origin CRC was sold to Germany at €820 per tonne CPT during the week, market sources said.

Some buyers reported lower price estimates, at €800-820 per tonne for both CRC and HDG. Notably, distributors and steel service centers said that end-user demand was still stable at low levels, so the implementation of a price increase would be difficult.

Given the need to restock, however, buyers have started to accept higher prices recently, with deals for CRC reported at €820 per tonne ex-works, and for HDG at €820-840 per tonne ex-works.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel CRC, domestic, exw Southern Europe, was €820-830 per tonne on Wednesday, up by €20-30 per tonne from €800 per tonne seven days before.

The corresponding weekly price assessment for steel HDG, domestic, exw Southern Europe, was €820-840 per tonne on January 18, narrowing upward by €20 per tonne from €800-840 per tonne seven days before.

Uncompetitive and limited overseas offers of CRC and HDG were also supportive of the domestic price uptrend, sources said.

Notably, CRC offers from Southeast Asia to Italy were heard at €780-810 per tonne CFR for March-April shipment. Sources also reported a CRC offer from Turkey at €860 per tonne CFR, but this was “out of the question” for EU buyers.

And sources said that 0.5mm HDG from Vietnam was offered to Spain at €950-960 per tonne CFR.

Published by: Julia Bolotova