Mills in Northern Europe offered discounts for larger volumes to fill their order books, while buyers continued to postpone restocking in the hope that prices would decrease further, according to sources.
One offer was heard at €780 ($841) per tonne delivered, which nets back to about €765 per tonne ex-works.
“But [there were] no buyers [at this price] [and it] will go down easily this week or the next,” a buyer source told Fastmarkets.
A second buyer source pointed out that mills have been trying to keep prices higher by cutting production, “but in February, some blast furnaces are supposed to come on stream again.”
This could put some additional pressure on prices, the second buyer source said.
Sources estimated tradable market levels at €740-750 per tonne ex-works.
Some deals for small quantities were heard in the range of €740-760 per tonne ex-works.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel HRC index, domestic, exw Northern Europe at €747.50 per tonne on Monday, down by €3 per tonne from €750.50 per tonne on Friday.
The index was down by €12.50 per tonne week on week but up by €15.62 per tonne month on month.
Fastmarkets calculated its corresponding daily steel HRC index, domestic, exw Italy at €747.50 per tonne on Monday, down by €1.25 per tonne from €748.75 on Friday.
The index was down by €5 per tonne week on week but up by €25.83 per tonne month on month.
In Italy, some offers were heard in the range of €745-770 per tonne ex-works. But buying remained comparatively weak, with no major deals heard in the market.
“This usually happens when prices go down,” a third buyer source told Fastmarkets, citing low demand and sufficient stocks as other factors influencing trading activity.
Market participants estimated the tradable market levels in a wide range of €725-760 per tonne ex-works.
Levels close to the lower end at €725-735 per tonne ex-works could be reached for the material with April delivery, the third buyer source said.
Offers of imported HRC from Vietnam to Italy were heard at €630 per tonne CFR.
Imported material from Japan was offered to Italy at $700 per tonne CFR, although this level was not tradable, according to a fourth buyer source.
Asian material was offered to Italy at €670 per tonne CFR, the fourth buyer source added.
Offers from Egypt to Italy were heard at €640-650 per tonne CFR and from Turkey at €680-690 per tonne CFR.