In Northern Europe, producers were targeting prices around €720-730 ($783-794) per tonne ex-works for February-delivery HRC, sources said.
But two buyer sources said that some mills are ready to give a discount and offer at €700 per tonne ex-works, “but not below.”
“Mills are feeling no pressure, no rush; they have good order books and wait for customers to accept new offers. There are not many alternative in the market,” a steel service center told Fastmarkets.
Buyers’ estimations of tradeable levels were heard at €670-680 per tonne ex-works in the region.
“Only low-tonnage deals we hear of recently. [We have] realized that prices will increase from domestic and import coil suppliers, but the ‘rush’ is still not there,” a steel-service center said.
“End-user demand is not there. Yes, some volumes are present, but by far not that level which is needed and expected,” he added.
Nevertheless, most sources agreed that HRC prices in the region were likely to climb higher before the end of the year, with output cuts and a lack of import options supporting the trend.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel HRC index, domestic, exw Northern Europe at €676.67 ($736.14) per tonne on Monday, up by €5.79 per tonne from €670.88 per tonne the previous day.
The index was up by €6.79 per tonne week on week and by €46.25 per tonne month on month.
Meanwhile, Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel HRC index, domestic, exw Italy at €670 per tonne on Monday, up by €10 per tonne from the previous calculation at €660 per tonne on Friday December 1.
The Italy index was up by €10 per tonne week on week and by €55 per tonne month on month.
February-delivery HRC was offered in the nation at €720 per tonne delivered (around €700-705 per tonne ex-works).
The new price levels have yet to be confirmed in deals, sources said, with buyer estimates of achievable prices not exceeding €700 per tonne delivered (around €680-685 per tonne ex-works). But that price level also has not been achieved in deals yet, source said.
Meanwhile, January-delivery HRC was traded at roughly €680 per tonne delivered (around €660-665 per tonne ex-works).
Sources expected HRC prices in the nation to keep climbing slowly, supported by reduced supply rather than improved demand.
“Slow consumption is a major point of concern for the market. Plus, in the secondary market, prices are rising very slowly,” a distributor in the nation said.
In the secondary market, prices for hot-rolled sheet continued to be reported at around €750 per tonne CPT, largely flat week on week.
Meanwhile, import HRC offers were also trending higher. The uptrend, coupled with long lead times, was limiting buying interest for import coil in the European Union.
HRC offers from Vietnam, South Korea and Japan were heard at around €630-650 per tonne CFR for February shipment, sources told Fastmarkets.
Offers from India, also for February shipment, were reported at €640-650 per tonne CFR.
And Turkish mills were offering January-shipment coil at 670-680 per tonne CFR, including anti-dumping duties.
Published by: Julia Bolotova