European hot-rolled coil prices move up on firmer mill offers

European hot-rolled coil increased Aug. 31 on firmer offers by European mills that want to use momentum from the start of restocking after the summer holidays, sources told S&P Global Commodity Insights.

While the bigger economic sentiment, particularly in Germany, remains negative, short- to mid-term sentiment turned more optimistic as inquiries continued to increase.

Several European mills are trying to enforce Eur700/mt EXW Ruhr or delivered Northern Europe. Workable levels reported remain lower, but buy-side sources said it would be getting difficult to get material below Eur670/mt EXW Ruhr on the spot market from mills in the region.

One Benelux buyer reported achieving Eur635/mt EXW Ruhr for 2,000 mt, but repeatability of the deal could not be confirmed by the end of assessment day at 4.30 pm London time.

Also, the Italian market started to see higher workable levels with reports of Eur640-650/mt EXW Italy for HRC from several buyers.

“Margins are below par in the steel industry at the moment, so either raw materials are decreasing or prices move up,” a Northern European mill source said.

However, sources said actual buying had not started in the Italian market and purchasing is expected to start the following week.

The mills’ announcements on the European mainland were also heard in the UK market, though UK buyers said they were still waiting to receive revised offers for imports ex-EU.

Platts assessed HRC EXW Ruhr up Eur5/mt day on day at Eur670/mt Aug. 31, while Platts assessed HRC EXW Italy at Eur640/mt, up Eur5/mt day on day.

Author Laura Varriale