European HRC prices under pressure as demand stays low

  • End-users, distributors hold back from purchases
  • Effects from production cuts start to be visible
A downward mood settled in the European hot-rolled coil market Oct. 10 as demand remained poor.

Both distributors and end-users have shown little interest in new bookings.

“Demand is bad, and there is skepticism among buyers regarding outlook,” a German service center source said. “What might help to support the prices — some mills have been delaying deliveries for around a month.”

“Demand is close to zero, and very few deals are made,” an Italian service center source said. “Reducing capacities is the only way to manage the current situation with low prices and weak demand.”

Germany’s ArcelorMittal temporarily idled blast furnaces No. 2 and No. 3 at its Bremen site Oct. 1. ArcelorMittal has temporarily shut blast furnace A at its steel plant in Ghent. Blast furnaces at both the Salzgitter plant in Germany and Tata Steel in the Netherlands also remained idled for maintenance.

“A big traditional buyer of one of the major mills approached us looking for commodity material,” a mill source said.

Market participants believe that it indicated that production cuts and equipment stoppages implemented by the European steelmakers had started to have impact.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe stable day on day at Eur610/mt ex-works Ruhr Oct. 10.

Tradable values have been reported at Eur600-620/mt ex-works Ruhr. No transactions have been heard.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in South Europe down by Eur5/mt day on day to Eur595/mt ex-works Italy Oct. 10.

Offers have been reported at the equivalent of Eur600-620/mt ex-works Italy, bids — at the equivalent of Eur550-570/mt ex-works Italy and tradable values — at Eur590-600/mt ex-works Italy.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Author Maria