“Sentiment in Italy is better compared to Germany as economic state in Germany seems to be more negative,” an Italian service center source said.
Deals for smaller volumes of hot-rolled coil were reported at Eur675-680/mt delivered Italy with tradable values heard at Eur665-670/mt ex-works Italy.
Platts assessed the domestic HRC price in Southern Europe up Eur15/mt on the day at Eur660/mt EXW Italy.
The anticipated rise in import offers and long lead times were likely to make buyers focus on European suppliers.
A service center source said European buyers would have to buy locally due to longer lead times for imported HRC as well as the expected exhaustion of safeguard import quotas for January-March 2024.
“Soon [hot-rolled] coil customers will see lack of cheaper imports and accept higher domestic prices,” a trader said.
Far East suppliers have been offering HRC at Eur625-630/mt CIF Italy and Indian mills at Eur635/mt CIF Italy. Market participants expected Asian mills to increase offers by Eur30-40/mt soon.
Platts assessed the import price of hot-rolled coil in South Europe stable on the day at Eur630/mt CIF Italy Nov. 22.
The price recovery in Europe has been driven by restocking of distributors, while real demand remained dull.
“Real demand is not there. Service centers are restocking for February and March and economic uncertainties are also impacting demand fundamentals,” a mill source said.
Deals for domestic HRC in Northwest Europe were heard at Eur650-680/mt EXW Ruhr while majority of sources said tradable values for domestic material were heard at Eur650-670/mt EXW Ruhr.
Platts assessed the price of domestic hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe at Eur665/mt EXW Ruhr on Nov. 22, up Eur5/mt on the day.
“End-users are not accepting the [price] increase [from distributors] but the mills are pushing offers up to Eur680-700/mt EXW Ruhr,” a Northwest European service center source said.
Mills still look to have some volumes left to offer for the first quarter and with buyers’ unwillingness to accept a price increase, mills may have to remain flexible with negotiations, a German service center source added.