European HRC prices climb as new offers come to fruition

European hot-rolled coil prices rose Jan. 28 as market participants assess the pricing reality of a swiftly accelerating market, mills announce price hikes met with some buy-side resistance, sources told S&P Global Platts.

A leading European mill announced a Eur50 increase for hot-rolled coil spot deliveries across Europe. Following suit of similar announcements for cold-rolled coil and galvanized material two weeks ago. Sources described the price hike as unsurprising and said other mills are likely to follow with similar increases.

Multiple market participants reported the Northern European workable level at Eur970/mt, almost an 8% increase to the level it was reported earlier this week.

A Benelux service center predicted further price hikes were coming from rising raw material costs and uncompetitive import offers rather than newly found demand. Steelmakers continue to operate at a low level of capacity utilization, following several production cuts in Europe in the last few months.

A German service center expressed cautious buying behavior, “it is a question of time. Who moves first…mills or buyer.” The source said. “We have postponed our decision [until] mid- February.”

Platts assessed North European HRC prices at Eur945/mt ex-works Ruhr, up Eur25, and in Southern Europe, HRC prices were assessed at Eur860/mt EXW Italy Jan 28, up Eur20.

— Catherine Brown