European HDG prices stable, OEMs expect correction

The European hot-dip galvanized sheet market saw stability over the week to Jan. 20, despite ongoing supply issues, with buyers struggling to purchase material and imports remaining unattractive, sources told S&P Global Platts.

The Platts TSI HDG index was assessed up Eur30/mt at Eur830/mt ex-works Ruhr Jan. 20, and in southern Europe, HDG was assessed stable at Eur820/mt ex-works Italy.

A Benelux-based trader said automotive demand in Germany was being reduced due to idled German processing plants.

HDG was heard to be less under pressure in Italy due to more production and the same trader said, “We are still booking HDG for Benelux, Germany and Spain.”

A German distributor source said material tightness and longer lead times were propping up prices, with deliveries not expected before August.

In Italy, the situation amongst some OEMs and distributors has intensified, with some OEMs refusing to accept large price increases.

“OEMs are confident that they’ll see a correction anyway, calling off huge quantities for immediate delivery,” an Italian distributor said. “They are trying to renegotiate these contracts because they declare they want a fixed price for 2021, because the current level is too high.”

The same source said industry in general has seen a great lack of material, and that supply levels tended to fluctuate by product.

“One day there is someone saying that the most lacking product is CRC and the next HDG, it fluctuates,” he said.

Although mills were able to produce HDG, most are still contending with huge delays and are unable to supply the quantities needed by customers.

There was little optimism that a major ramp up from mills would alter the supply situation in the near term.

— Amanda Flint