European HRC prices stable amid negative sentiment

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Europe remained unchanged Aug. 15 due to the seasonal activity slowdown.

Market sentiment for September, when buyers and sellers traditionally return to trading, has been downward due to an uncertain demand outlook from end-users combined with need of domestic mills to fill orders books and significant volumes of import either awaiting custom clearance or on the way to the EU.

“Market is catastrophic in terms of the daily business,” a German service center source said. “But the main thing — the outlook is pessimistic for the second half of the year. The mills say they have allocations for some volumes of coil for a week, but then they give more volumes. So, their order books are far from being full.”

“No change in prices,” a Northwest European service center source said. “Everyone is enjoying holidays before September and then — no positive expectations. There is clear oversupply and no hope for demand recovery. Prices most likely would go down.”

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe unchanged on day at Eur635/mt ex-works Ruhr Aug. 15.

Market participants estimated tradable values at Eur630-640/mt ex-works Ruhr and reported offers at the equivalent of Eur635-640/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Import offers in Northwest Europe have been heard at Eur620-630/mt CIF Antwerp for the material from Asia. Buyers have been showing no interest in the material due to both uncompetitive prices and lead times — currently Asian mills have been offering December delivery material. Some market sources said they believed that buyers will show higher interest in imported coil when January delivery becomes available.

Author Maria Tanatar