European hot-rolled coil market stable ahead of EuroBLECH trade fair

Stability was reported in the European hot-rolled coil market Oct. 24 as market participants looked to the EuroBLECH trade fair to give clarity to prevailing uncertainties.

Platts assessed hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe down Eur10 at Eur650/mt ex-works Ruhr Oct. 24.

Transactional activity was reported at the Eur650/mt ex-works price level in Germany, confirmed as a workable level by both buy-side and sell-side sources.

Price direction was uncertain, with most expecting stability in the near-term at least until after the EuroBLECH trade fair.

“There will be no moves until the top of next week in my view,” a distributor source said. “I’d guess the market is waiting for EuroBLECH for further information from producers and end-users.”

Mills have recently attempted to establish increased pricing for the first quarter 2023, heard offered at around Eur750/mt ex-works Ruhr for January delivery. That said, some were skeptical whether increases could hold in the low-demand market.

“[Natural] gas prices in Germany have dropped significantly this week and demand is not improving – I am uncertain on what grounds the mills can increase prices when their costs are clearly coming down,” one service center source said.

In Italy, the tradable range remained unclear due to a lack of trading and a comparative resistance from Southern mills to cut discounts, as in Northern Europe.

A second service center source indicated Eur670-690/mt ex-works Italy was a workable range on the day, with Platts assessing Italian HRC stable at Eur680/mt ex-works Italy.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Benjamin Steven, Maria Tanatar