European HRC market monitors sustainability of price increases post-holidays

Market participants were said to be keeping a close watch on the flat steel market Jan. 3, assessing the sustainability of recent price increases post-holiday period.

Platts assessed hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe up Eur5/mt on the day, at Eur685/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Market participants reported offers at Eur730-740/mt ex-works Northern Europe, expecting cheaper prices to disappear as the market proceeds through January.

That said, uncertainty remains as to whether buyers will accept higher prices, as some distributors continue to report a lack of supporting end-user demand that would incentivize higher purchasing costs.

Tradable value indications were received at Eur690-700/mt ex-works Northern Europe, from primarily trader sources, with most expecting this price level to increase in the near-term, especially for those that failed to restock in December.

“I think most are watching the market now to see if this price level will survive in January,” said a trader source.

When asked if buyers were ready to accept higher prices, another trader replied with cautious positivity, estimating prices of Eur700/mt ex-works as workable in the post-holiday market.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Benjamin Steven