European hot-rolled coil prices were largely stable amid quiet trading on Tuesday January 31, sources told Fastmarkets.
European integrated mills were sold out of first-quarter HRC volumes and have been maintaining offers for April-delivery at €780-800 per tonne EXW, sources said.
There was, however, an offer from a re-roller in Northern Europe at €760 per tonne EXW, they added.
Lead times for HRC in Northern Europe were reported at a minimum of eight weeks, which also suggests that producers have healthy order books.
“There was a restocking in January and buyers were gradually accepting higher prices [for HRC]. But the new increase will be harder to achieve because demand remains slow,” a trading source said.
Estimates of tradable values from buyers in the region varied from €740 per tonne EXW to €770 per tonne EXW, depending on tonnages and lead times.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, exw Northern Europe at €755.63 ($821.46) per tonne on Tuesday, up by €0.21 per tonne from €755.41 per tonne on Monday.
The latest calculation of the index was up by €1.08 per tonne week on week, and by €86.88 per tonne month on month.
Offers from Italy to Germany were reported at around €780-800 per tonne CPT with some transactions for limited volumes heard withing the range.
In general, European buyers were reluctant to make bookings at higher prices, sources told Fastmarkets.
“Buyers have bought what they need in January, so now it’s a bit of wait-and-see [moment, in terms of] a new round of bookings, because the new offers are not sexy,” a mill source told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets’ calculation of the corresponding daily steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, exw Italy was €751.67 per tonne on Tuesday, up by €0.42 per tonne from €751.25 per tonne on Monday.
The latest calculation of the index was up by €7.91 per tonne week on week and by €99.17 per tonne month on month.
Offers for April-delivery HRC from Italy were heard at €780-800 per tonne delivered, which is equivalent to around €760-780 per tonne ex-works.
Buyer indications of tradable prices were still at €730-750 per tonne ex-works on Tuesday, sources told Fastmarkets.
Buyers in Italy have also been delaying purchases because they consider the current offer prices too high.
Given the bullish sentiment in the domestic market, European buyers generally considered the latest imports offers to be competitive – although the number of offers was remained limited, with some Asian producers still out of the market.
Import offers from India were reported on Tuesday at €735 per tonne CFR to Italy for April shipment. And Turkish suppliers were offering April-delivery HRC to Italy at €740 per tonne CFR.
Published by: Julia Bolotova