European HDG market quiet on maintenance break

European hot-dip galvanized market remained little changed Feb 16 as market participants report mills are involved in maintenance work on their galvanization processes now, an opportune time given reduced demand, sources told S&P Global Platts.

The lack of automotive demand has tightened the supply of galvanized material, with mills conducting maintenance to galvanizing lines given a relaxation of market activity.

In southern Europe, HDG saw offer levels reach Eur1,220/mt ex-works Italy, with no transactional activity confirmed at this higher level, producers were confident these would materialize in the near term.

The Platts northern Europe HDG base price dipped Eur5 to Eur1,145/mt EXW, while southern European base prices increased Eur5 to Eur1,105/mt.

The market is healthy in terms of supply and demand, with market participants expecting the semiconductor issue to resolve in the second quarter and larger inventories to be necessary.

Higher iron ore and coking coal prices continued to push up price expectations as steel margins remain squeezed.

A service center source also noted the gap between the values of hot-rolled coil and value-added products, such as HDG, which has been significantly slower to decline.

— Catherine Brown