Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, exw Northern Europe at €730.63 ($800.15) per tonne on Tuesday, down by €0.62 per tonne compared with €731.25 per tonne on the previous day.
But the index was up by €7.30 per tonne week on week and by €39.75 per tonne month on month.
Most mills in the region could only offer April-delivery HRC, sources said, with target prices at €780-800 per tonne ex-works.
Some mills, however, could still offer limited volumes for March shipment, with offers reported at €730-750 per tonne ex-works.
Some sources pointed out that mills had good books considering the volumes reserved for the automotive industry, and if end users book lower quantities, additional HRC tonnages will be released into the spot market, putting pressure on prices.
“We don’t see any uptick in [end-user] demand, all buyers are quite cautious,” a trading source said.
“We see end-user demand low with the most difficult conditions seen in Germany,” a second trader said.
Alternatively, other sources suggested that mills will achieve higher prices step-by-step, gaining support from reduced supply, restocking and limited and/or uncompetitive imports.
In Southern Europe, Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, exw Italy at €721.67 per tonne on Tuesday, down by €0.83 per tonne from €722.50 per tonne on Monday.
But the index was up by €16.67 per tonne week on week and by €42.50 per tonne month on month.
Leading European steelmakers were heard offering April-delivery HRC to the country at €780 per tonne delivered, sources said.
HRC from local suppliers for March-April delivery was on offer at €770-780 per tonne delivered, which is equivalent to €755-765 per tonne ex-works.
But sources suggested that it would be possible to book March-delivery coil at €740-750 per tonne delivered (€725-735 per tonne ex-works).
“We haven’t started negotiations for March delivery yet, but I think the March-delivery price [for HRC] could be around €750 per tonne delivered,” a steel service center said.
Some buyer sources estimated tradable values even lower, at €700-720 per tonne ex-works, citing lack of demand and difficulty passing higher prices downstream.
Sources reported Asian HRC offers for late-March shipment at €655-670 per tonne CFR to Italy — notably from Taiwan and Vietnam.
However, sources said that European buyers were “avoiding booking material that falls under the ‘other countries’ [and regions] category due to safeguards-related risks.”
No new offers were heard from Indian mills this week so far, but sources expect offers to be “no lower than €700 per tonne CFR.”
Sources also reported an offer for Turkey-origin coil with March shipment at €730 per tonne CFR, including the anti-dumping duty.
Published by: Julia Bolotova