European HRC buyers digest higher offers

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Europe were broadly flat on Friday November 3, with buyers digesting new offers and questioning the sustainability of the uptrend amid a lack of consumption, Fastmarkets heard.
A number of European steelmakers were seeking higher prices for January-rolling coil due to increased costs and reduced availability from output cuts.

Offers were consolidating closer to €680 ($722) per tonne ex-works from integrated mills in the region.

This new level was not yet sealed in deals, however.

The most recent transactions for December-delivery HRC were reported at €620-630 per tonne ex-works, with buying picking up recently on restocking.

Some buyers were rather skeptical about such substantial rises, citing weak consumption.

“A price increase mills are asking for is not supported by demand, it’s driven by output cuts and increased costs,” a trading source said.

As Fastmarkets has previously reported, several European steelmakers have idled blast furnaces during the third and fourth quarter of 2023, and limited supply was one of the key factors backing up the targeted increase, sources said.

Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, exw Northern Europe at €630.42 ($669.25) per tonne on November 3, down by just €1.21 from €631.63 per tonne on Thursday November 2.

The index was, however, up by €15.21 per tonne week on week and by €10.42 per tonne month on month.

In Southern Europe, Fastmarkets’ calculated its corresponding daily steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, exw Italy at €615 per tonne on November 3, flat day on day.

The Italian index was up by €14.37 per tonne week on week, and up by €10.00 per tonne month on month.

Italian producers reportedly still had some limited tonnages for December delivery, while higher offers were planned for January.

Deals for December-delivery coil were reported at €600-620 per tonne ex-works in Italy, several sources said.

For January, meanwhile, offers were closer to €650 per tonne delivered, which nets back to €635 per tonne ex-works.

There were few import offers in the week starting October 30, with overseas suppliers reportedly mulling higher prices.

January-shipment HRC from Asian mills was reported at €600 per tonne CFR earlier in the week. But long lead times, safeguards-related risks and small gaps with local prices were limiting interest for overseas coil.

Turkish mills could offer shorter lead times, with January delivery still available, but prices were rather higher – at €650-655 per tonne CFR, duty included.

Published by: Julia Bolotova