Trading remained slow in the European market for steel hot-rolled coil, but some mills were considering price rises on the basis of good order books and limited availability, Fastmarkets heard on Wednesday February 8.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel hot-rolled coil index, domestic, exw Northern Europe, at €757.62 ($812.07) per tonne on Wednesday, up by €2.62 per tonne from €755.00 per tonne on Tuesday.
The latest calculation of the index was up by €5.74 per tonne week on week, and up by €88.45 per tonne month on month.
Trading was still slow in the region, because buyers restocked in January and were now taking a wait-and-see stance, with only hand-to-mouth purchases reported.
Estimates of tradeable values from the buyers’ side were reported between €750 per tonne and €780 per tonne ex-works.
Offers, meanwhile, were reported at €780-800 per tonne ex-works for April-May delivery HRC.
Several sources told Fastmarkets that a leading European steelmaker was planning another round of price rises to be imposed on second-quarter-rolling coil, despite limited activity in the market.
Sources said that reduced supply amid output cuts, as well as a lack of competitive imports, remained the major factors that were supporting the uptrend in the HRC market.
Real steel demand, meanwhile, was still subdued.
“We will see a clearer market picture in a couple of weeks, when buyers come back for [second-quarter] volumes,” a trading source said.
Fastmarkets’ calculation of the daily steel hot-rolled coil index, domestic, exw Italy, was €752.34 per tonne on Wednesday, up by €2.76 per tonne from €749.58 per tonne on Monday.
The latest calculation of the index was up by €2.34 per tonne week on week, and up by €99.84 per tonne month on month.
Transactions were reported at €750-760 per tonne ex-works, but in general the trading activity was low. This was also because buyers purchased enough material during January and were now assessing the market.
Producers, in their turn, had good order books and were aiming to push HRC prices to €780-800 per tonne ex-works in transactions during February.
Import HRC offers to Europe were still limited.
Buyers reported price indications for Indian and Asian HRC at €730-740 per tonne CFR for April shipment, which they suggested was rather high, given the domestic prices in Europe and the long lead times on imports.
“HRC booked for import now will arrive in May-June,” a trading source in Italy said, “and the price difference with European mills is too small to take a risk.”
Published by: Julia Bolotova