The European hot-rolled coil market was quiet on Friday November 18, with prices said to be close to the cost line, sources told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets assessed its daily steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, ex-works Northern Europe at €625.83 ($648.42) per tonne on Friday, down by €1.67 per tonne from €627.50 per tonne the previous day.
The latest calculation of the index was down by €19.17 per tonne week on week, and down by €57.92 per tonne month on month.
Buyers and producers indicated tradeable price levels for HRC in Northern Europe at €620-630 per tonne EXW. Most mills in the region still had December rolling coil to sell.
One mill source reported more inquiries for January-delivery coil from buyers recently and said they expected some volumes to come back to the market. But buyers remained cautious, waiting for the HRC price to bottom before making purchases.
Inventory levels at large stockholders and steel service centers remains quite high, so they could maintain a wait-and-see attitude.
Meanwhile, mill sources believe that HRC prices have already reached the bottom, with no room for further price drops given the high cost of production.
Some producer sources expect some limited restocking in December, but agreed that a price rebound was unlikely this year due to weak end-user demand.
Fastmarkets’ assessment of the daily steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, exw Italy was €600 per tonne on Friday, down by €5 per tonne from €605 per tonne the previous day. The index was down by €25 per tonne week on week, and down by €87.50 per tonne month on month.
Sources reported HRC offers from Italy’s integrated mills and rerollers at €620-640 per tonne delivered, which corresponds to €600-620 per tonne EXW.
But several sources reported transactions done by one Italian integrated mill at a lower level of €570-580 per tonne EXW.
Some market sources in Italy agreed the HRC price in the country was already at rock bottom and expect trading activity to recover in December.
“Rock bottom has been reached and no more decreases are possible. Even though no big rebound is possible before Christmas, some recovery is likely,” one trading source in Italy said.
“It seems that all the [HRC] volumes that were hidden are coming back. The import suppliers cannot compete with the EU mills, so we might see some recovery soon,” another source said.
Several sources told Fastmarkets that overseas HRC suppliers had stepped back from the Italian market by the end of this week, unable to match domestic prices.
Notably, end-of-first-quarter-delivery HRC from Southeast Asia was on offer to Italy at €560-585 per tonne CFR earlier this week.
Published by: Julia Bolotova