The European market for hot-rolled coil remained quiet on Tuesday September 13, with little to no trading activity amid chronic overstocking and weak end-user demand, sources told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel HRC index, domestic, ex-works Northern Europe, at €765.00 ($774.20) per tonne on Tuesday, down by just €3.33 per tonne from €768.33 per tonne on Monday.
The latest calculation of the index was stable week on week, but down by €9.17 per tonne month on month.
Although integrated mills in the region maintained their official offers for HRC at €800-850 per tonne exw, deals were not sealed at those price levels, sources said.
Most buyers estimated tradeable prices for HRC in the region at €750-770 per tonne exw, with some transactions for minor volumes reported within that range in Germany.
Market participants cited a lack of end-user demand as a key problem for the market.
“The price [for HRC] does not matter right now. Even if mills cut it by another €50 per tonne, it wouldn’t result in a boom in buying,” a distributor in the region said. “There is no demand, and no demand recovery in sight, at least [not] this year.”
At the same time, producers have been struggling with extremely high energy prices and have therefore insisted that the price increase was necessary to cover surging costs.
Europe-wide steel output cuts might support a degree of price recovery in the longer run, sources suggested.
“Maybe closer to end of the fourth quarter, when buyers restock for the first quarter of 2023, we will see some recovery [in HRC prices],” a trader said.
Fastmarkets’ calculation of its daily steel HRC index, domestic, exw Italy, meanwhile, was €757.50 per tonne on Tuesday, down by €5.00 per tonne from €762.50 per tonne on Monday.
The latest calculation of the Italian index was up by €5.00 per tonne week on week, but down by €12.50 per tonne month on month.
Activity in Italy’s HRC market was also quite weak, sources said.
Despite substantial production cuts announced by local mills, prices for HRC in the nation were relatively stable and the offer-bid gap remained wide.
HRC offers from local mills were reported closer to €800 per tonne exw, while buyers’ estimates of achievable prices were heard at €750-780 per tonne exw, depending on tonnage.
Published by: Julia Bolotova