European flats prices consolidate at higher levels: Marcegaglia

Prices of flat products in Europe are currently consolidating at higher levels, continuing the recovery trend started at the end of 2022, Antonio Marcegaglia, president and chief executive of Marcegaglia, said during a webinar organised by Siderweb.

The executive noted that in the fourth quarter of 2022, flats prices across Europe fell to close-to-cost levels for producers. Kallanish indices for northern European HRC bottomed at €650/tonne ($689) ex-works base at the end of November 2022, and have since recovered to as much as €800/t ex-works base.

Marcegaglia confirmed that current offer prices from European steelmakers have reached, and in some cases surpassed, €820/t ex-works base for HRC. He noted that the market is expected to consolidate at these levels in the short term; further increases could be seen, but of a more limited magnitude.

“There will not be space for prices to drop from the current offer levels in Europe; there could be a further increase, but not too significant,” he added. Prices of flat products processed from HRC are however currently lagging behind on the recovery path.

On the demand front, 2023 is expected to show a recovery in terms of flats demand in Europe.

Looking forward, Marcegaglia said some changes could be seen in trade flows of steel products into Europe from the fourth quarter. This is because steel products processed from Russian steel will be formally banned in Europe, as anticipated in the latest round of sanctions announced in Q4 2022.

Emanuele Norsa Italy