European HDG prices stable, automakers close plants early

European HDG prices were stable July 28 as a lack of automotive demand due to the shortage of semi-conductor and chip supply and overall quietness in the market kept activity steady, sources told S&P Global Platts.

Given softer demand, there was supposedly more room to negotiate on HDG prices in Italy, with cheaper imports from the Far East playing a major role in price discussions, although these were few and far between.

“Demand is quiet but we are selling every week, its unnormal. We see inquiries, but its calm,” a European mill source said.

One mill was heard to be offering Eur1,450/mt ex-works Ruhr, though Eur1,330/mt ex-works Ruhr was more likely in the market.

The flooding was still having a severe affect on HDG supply, with few possibilities to buy prior to the disaster, with prices expected to increase.

“Stockholders not affected by the water, I expect they will raise prices very quickly and drastically because they are the winners in this situation,” a German distributor said.

Around 80-100,000 mt of steel has been damaged by the flooding, sources have said, with much of it to now be made into scrap.

“We have a quiet market, in middle of summer holidays, we see automotive closing plants earlier than expected due to semiconductors, we expect less production in some branches,” the same distributor said.

The lack of market activity in Italy during August was also expected to keep prices stable, with short HDG supply still a major issue in Europe.

— Amanda Flint