European hot-rolled coil prices were broadly stable in the week to Friday July 22, with buyers and producers holding different expectations about the future price trend, sources told Fastmarkets.
Buying activity in the European coil market remained subdued with only limited volumes being traded.
Sentiment was mixed, with producers agreeing that HRC prices had touched a floor and were poised to increase amid surging production costs and output cuts. Buyers, meanwhile, believed there was still room for a further price drop, because of oversupply and persistently weak end-user demand.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel HRC index, domestic, ex-works Northern Europe at €855.00 ($873.22) per tonne on Friday, stable day on day.
The index was up by €3.33 per tonne week on week, but down by €13.00 per tonne month on month.
Some transactions were reported at €860 per tonne exw on Friday, while buyers’ estimations of achievable prices were at €850-860 per tonne exw.
But producers in Northern Europe maintained official offers closer to €900 per tonne exw, source said.
Offer prices from mills in Central Europe were heard closer to €800 per tonne exw, but trading was reported at €760-780 per tonne exw.
One more integrated mill announced production cuts last week.
Liberty Steel will stop one blast furnace (BF) at its Ostrava site this week for a planned maintenance. Market sources said the BF might remain offline for at least four months.
Fastmarkets’ calculation of the daily steel HRC index, domestic, exw Italy remained at €775 per tonne on Friday, stable day on day.
The calculation of the Italian index was up by €5.00 per tonne week on week but down by €36 per tonne month on month.
HRC offers from mills in the nation were reported at €800-820 per tonne exw.
A transaction from a local reroller was reported at €760-770 per tonne exw.
But some large buyers estimated the achievable price level even lower – at €750-760 per tonne exw.
Some lower HRC offers were heard from the Far East this week, which also affected the market’s mood.
Notably, HRC with September shipment was offered to Italy at €680 per tonne cfr. Egypt-origin HRC was offered to Italy at €730 per tonne cfr.
Boron-alloyed HRC from India was offered to Italy at €700-710 per tonne cfr.
Published by: Julia Bolotova