European mill gives higher HRC offers, others to follow

A big European steelmaker has given higher offers for hot-rolled coil to some Northwest European customers on Aug. 23, other mills are expected to follow.

The producer has been offering October delivery coil at Eur700/mt ex-works Ruhr, making it about Eur50/mt above compared with the previous offers. Buyers, however, have been skeptical about such rise as the seasonal demand recovery in September is unlikely to be strong enough to support such domestic price rise.

“Demand extremely slow,” a German service center said. “Most buyers still wait, what to see what direction the market moves.”

“Demand from construction industry is bad, automotive is uncertain, some hope that demand will remain stable or increase, but there is also a risk that it would drop due to current economic environment,” a distributor said.

Another steelmaker has been reported to offer HRC at Eur640/mt ex-works Ruhr, but the offer might be revoked by the end of the week, sources said.

Market sources estimated tradable values at Eur640-650/mt ex-works Ruhr.

A Northwest European re-roller has been offering HRC at Eur620/mt delivered Benelux.

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northwest Europe unchanged on the day at Eur645/mt ex-works Ruhr on Aug. 23.

Due to scheduled maintenances at some major mills, supply of wide coil had been limited with current offers available for January-rolling material, sources said. As a result, such material has been offered with a Eur25-30/mt premium to commodity coil.

New import offers have been uncompetitive due to high prices — limited offers have been heard at Eur630-640/mt CIF Antwerp. In addition, due to massive volumes of HRC originating from Asia have been either in the European ports or on the way to the EU border.

Market participants estimated that around 500,000 mt of HRC falling under “other countries” and from South Korea origin under safeguard measures will be custom cleared on Oct. 1, filling the fourth quarter quotas. As a result, the buyers have been only showing some interest in the overseas coil with delivery in January.

Author Maria

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.