European HRC market quiet due to holiday absences

European hot-rolled coil prices were broadly flat on Monday August 15 amid public holidays, with market sentiment remaining dull, Fastmarkets has heard. Trading activity in the EU HRC market was practically non-existent on August 15 due to public holidays in most member-states.

During the week ended August 12, mills in Northern Europe had taken an aggressive approach to selling excess volumes and filling the gaps in their order books. Traded volumes, however, remained limited due to there being sufficient stocks at buyers.

“Stockholders and steel service centers are mainly focused on selling their devaluing [HRC] stocks rather than buying new material,” a trading source in the region told Fastmarkets.

Market sources suggested that buying activity in the region might not recover until early in the fourth quarter of this year.

Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel HRC index, domestic, ex-works Northern Europe, at €770.00 ($789.64) per tonne on Monday, down by just €4.17 per tonne from €774.17 per tonne on Friday.

The latest calculation of the index was down by €53.75 per tonne week on week and by €81.67 per tonne month on month.

Monday’s index was based on market participants’ estimates of achievable prices heard at €750-780 per tonne exw.

Market sources were questioning whether the HRC price was at rock-bottom once again.

“One month ago, the market was discussing the [HRC] price bottom at €840-850 per tonne exw. Now we are heading closer to €700 per tonne exw,” another trading source told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets’ calculation of its daily steel HRC index, domestic, exw Italy, was €770.00 per tonne on Monday, stable day on day.

The latest calculation of the Italian index was down by €2.50 per tonne week on week, but flat month on month.

Italy’s market remained quiet on Monday, sources said. Mills and buyers in the nation were both out of the market but should return in late August-early September.

Before the summer stoppages, transactions for HRC in the nation were heard at €750-770 per tonne exw.

Official offers from domestic mills were heard at €780-800 per tonne exw.

Published by: Julia Bolotova