European HRC stable on weak trading activity

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil were fairly stable Nov. 4 across Europe as trading activity remained limited.

Platts assessed hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe stable day on day at Eur650/mt ex-works Ruhr Nov. 4.

Two mill sources reported offers at Eur650-660/mt ex-works Ruhr. Another producer estimated tradable value at Eur650/mt ex-works Ruhr.

A service distributor reported offers at Eur650/mt ex-works Ruhr. And a trader source reported achievable prices at a similar level.

A majority of Northern European steelmakers were reported to offer HRC with delivery time from four to six weeks, indicating that they have not filled order books for this year.

Demand has remained weak as distributors have been struggling to reduce high inventories. Demand from end consumers, in the meantime, have also been reduced, according to market sources.

“End-users are functioning, at slower pace, but they are alive,” an Italian source said. “The problem is stocks. We will not see any activity until stocks decrease. And it takes time. Big mills should have cut capacities during summer, but they didn’t, so we need to wait longer.”

On Nov. 4, ArcelorMittal said it planned to temporarily shut one of its two 2 million mt/year blast furnaces at the Fos-sur-Mer plant in France.

Platts assessed domestic HRC in Italy at Eur650/mt ex-works Nov. 4, down Eur5/mt day on day.

The assessment was based on tradable values reported at Eur650/mt ex-works Italy.

— Maria Tanatar, Benjamin Steven