The European hot-rolled coil market remained quiet on Wednesday August 17, with the post-summer outlook becoming increasingly gloomy, mainly because of the poor performance of the major consuming industries and chronic overstocking, sources told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel HRC index, domestic, ex-works Northern Europe, at €757.50 ($769.50) per tonne on Wednesday, down by just €2.50 per tonne from €760.00 per tonne on Tuesday.
The latest calculation of the index is down by €41.25 per tonne week on week and by €94.17 per tonne month on month.
Market sources estimated achievable prices to be at €750-770 per tonne exw on Wednesday, with a few transactions for small volumes reported within the range.
The market was seasonally quiet with buyers seen largely holding back from conducting business and assessing the post-holiday trend, Fastmarkets heard.
“Currently, it is a totally silent because most customers are on vacation until end of August,” a source at a steel-service center in Germany told Fastmarkets.
The post-summer outlook was largely pessimistic, however. Market sources said they did not expect a “booming recovery” of buying activity in September, mainly because of weak end-user demand and high inventories at buyers.
“Some carmakers in Germany have made announcements about production increasing from September, but it is very theoretical. In any case, buying activity [for HRC] might only recover in late September-early October with some restocking activity,” a trader in the Benelux area told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets’ calculation of its daily steel HRC index, domestic, exw Italy, was €743.75 per tonne on Wednesday, down by €11.25 per tonne from €755.00 per tonne the day before.
The latest calculation of the Italian index was down by €27.25 per tonne week on week and down by €26.25 per tonne month on month.
The calculation was based on buyers’ estimates of achievable prices reported at €720-750 per tonne exw and offers reported at €780-800 per tonne exw.
No trading activity was reported on Wednesday, with most mills and buyers currently out of the market.
Expectations for the post-summer market varied among buyers and mills; buyers expected HRC prices in the nation to drop further amid weakened demand and the availability of cheaper imports, while producers opposed the idea of prices trending lower owing to costs pressure.
The market for imported coil was also quiet in the week to Wednesday.
Buyers from Northern Europe estimated the tradeable level for imported HRC to be €650-670 per tonne cfr Antwerp, with the most recent offers reported closer to €700 per tonne cfr Antwerp from Turkey and Asia.
A booking of HRC from South Korea was heard late last week at €650 per tonne cfr Italy, sources said.
Fastmarkets’ price assessment for steel hot-rolled coil, import, cfr main port Southern Europe, was €650-680 per tonne on Wednesday, narrowing downward by €20 per tonne from €650-700 per tonne a week earlier.
Fastmarkets’ corresponding price assessment for steel hot-rolled coil, import, cfr main port Northern Europe, was €670-700 per tonne on Wednesday, down by €20-30 per tonne from €700-720 per tonne seven days earlier.
Both assessments were based on deals, the lower end of offers and buyers’ estimates of achievable prices.
Published by: Julia Bolotova