European HDG rises on improving automotive demand

European galvanized market pushed higher Sept. 16 with increasingly tight availability amid rapidly recovering demand driving prices higher,, sources told S&P Global Platts.

The Platts TSI HDG index was assessed at Eur568/mt ex-works Ruhr Sept. 16, Eur18/mt higher week on week and its highest level since April 15.

In Southern Europe, HDG rose Eur2 on the week and was assessed at Eur550/mt ex-works South Europe, its highest mark since May 31, 2019.

A Central European mill source said better than expected order intake from the Automotive sector now meant there would be extremely limited volumes remaining for the spot market.

“We received so many orders from the automotive industry so material they did not take in the spring they take again now, so its compensation quantities,” he said. “It is not that business is booming just that they need to build cars they did not in the spring time.”

An Italy-based mill source said that demand was now at a good level however he was not certain how sustainable the demand would be.

“Yes we are running but don’t know how long the demand will last so the point is production can be fine but how many cars can be sold? Demand now is absolutely good and they are back in the market,” he said.

A Central European service center source said he was seeing good demand from premium automotive segment but that declining disposable incomes would limit consumer demand.

“Unemployment forecasts are saying that people will not be in a position to buy new cars,” he said. “At the moment we are seeing good demand which is the backlog generated during the three-month closures of assembly lines in the spring time.”

— Len Griffin, Amanda Flint