European HRC prices approaching bottom, supported by uncompetitive import

Domestic hot-rolled coil prices almost reached bottom on April 18 and such sentiment has been supported by rising import offers.

The rise of import offers was mainly driven by euro to the US dollar exchange rate.

Demand remained muted with no end-user consumption rise expected and distributors holding back from big bookings. Spot buyers have been avoiding to build stocks and preferred to buy smaller lots more frequently to cover the immediate needs and to avoid risks related with possible price decrease in the future.

Majority of sources believe that prices would stabilize around the current levels as costs would not allow a drop and support from some restocking and less competitive import would not be enough to push prices up, unless domestic capacities are cut.

Some market participants, however, believe that prices might drop below Eur600/mt ex-works Europe if the exchange rate changes.

Platts assessed domestic hot-rolled coil prices in Northwest Europe down Eur5/mt on the day at Eur625/mt ex-works Ruhr on April 18.

Tradable values were reported at Eur620-630/mt ex-works Ruhr.

A deal was heard at Eur625/mt ex-works Ruhr.

A German mill has been offering the material at Eur630/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Platts assessed prices for imported material in Northwest Europe up Eur5/mt on the day to Eur595/mt CIF Antwerp.

Offers were reported at Eur600-610/mt CIF Antwerp for the material from Asia.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in South Europe unchanged on the day at Eur620/mt ex-works Italy April 18.

Tradable values were reported at Eur620/mt ex-works Italy and a deal for a bigger lot with a pipemaker was heard at Eur615/mt ex-works Italy, but the price was not available for the wider market.

Maria Tanatar