European steelmakers are considering pushing for higher flat steel prices on reduced production levels and good order books, sources told Fastmarkets on Wednesday February 8.
European producers are sold out of first-quarter rolling cold-rolled and hot-dipped galvanized coil, they added.
Steel mills producing CRC and HDG have been running at reduced rates, keeping the market balanced.
But trading activity was muted in both Northern and Southern Europe in the seven days to Wednesday because buyers restocked through January and are now holding back from making any new purchases.
Producers in Northern Europe maintained their offers for April-May delivery CRC at €880-900 ($943-965) per tonne EXW and at €900-930 per tonne EXW for HDG, but those prices were above the level of transactions reported by sources.
Notably, tradable values were heard at €850-870 per tonne EXW for CRC and €860-880 per tonne EXW for HDG in the north.
One Italian mill was offering both CRC and HDG to Germany at €900 per tonne delivered.
And while mills reported an increase in inquiries from buyers in the week to Wednesday, traded volumes remained limited, they said, because buyers were continuing to resist the higher offer prices.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel CRC domestic, exw Northern Europe was €860-880 per tonne on Wednesday, stable week on week.
Fastmarkets’ corresponding weekly price assessment for steel HDG domestic, exw Northern Europe was €870-900 per tonne on Wednesday, also unchanged from February 1.
Both price assessments reflected the lower end of offers, rare deals and estimates of achievable prices made in the week to February 8.
In Southern Europe, CRC offers were heard at €880 per tonne EXW, while HDG offers came in at €900 per tonne EXW.
Bookings were reported at somewhat lower levels during the assessment week, however – at €850-870 per tonne EXW for CRC and at €870-880 per tonne for HDG.
Some producers in the region withdrew from the market after having sold out of first-quarter rolling CRC and HDG and were said to be planning a price rise.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel CRC domestic, exw Southern Europe was €850-870 per tonne on Wednesday, flat week-on-week.
The corresponding weekly price assessment for steel HDG domestic, exw Southern Europe was also unchanged week on week at €870-880 per tonne on February 8, with both assessments reflecting the lower end of offers, rare deals and estimates of achievable prices.
Import offers to the region, meanwhile, increased after a series of bookings in late January-early February.
An offer of CRC from South Korea was heard in Southern Europe at €830-840 per tonne CFR, compared with a reported transaction level of €810 per tonne CFR about two weeks ago, sources said.
No new offers have been heard from Japan so far this week.
Sources reported only one HDG offer in Southern Europe in the week to Wednesday, which was for 0.5mm HDG from Vietnam at around €900-910 per tonne CFR.
Published by: Julia Bolotova