European HRC prices hold stable amid muted market activity

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Europe have remained unchanged on May 24, while trading activity in the market remained slow.

End-user demand remained unchanged and was described as “normal” in majority of the EU countries, except for Germany, according to market participants.

“End-user demand is ok in Europe, except for Germany,” a service center said. “Germany is the most important industrial market in Europe, and it is like an engine with some problem that needs to be fixed before it gets worse.”

Apparent demand, in the meantime, remained low as the spot buyers have been avoiding restocking of bigger lots due to uncertain outlook for the second half of the year.

“The market is quite depressing, and nobody wants to commit to purchases of bigger volumes,” a distributor said.

Market participants believe that the steelmakers would take longer pauses in production for maintenances during the summer season to reduce output and help price recovery in the third quarter.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe stable on the day at Eur635/mt ex-works Ruhr on May 24.

Deals have been reported at Eur630-640/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Tradable values have been heard at Eur620-640/mt ex-works Ruhr and offers at Eur630-640/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in South Europe at Eur625/mt ex-works Italy on May 24, stable on the day.

Tradable values have been reported at Eur620-630/mt ex-works Italy and offers at the equivalent of Eur610-630/mt ex-works Italy.

Interest in imported HRC from Asia was limited due to longer lead times, uncompetitive prices and risks related to possible changes in the safeguard measures after a review that is scheduled to end by June 30.

Offers of HRC from Asia have been reported at Eur580-610/mt CIF Italy and from Turkey at Eur610-630/mt CIF Italy, including antidumping duties.

Author: Maria Tanatar,