European steelmakers are pushing for higher prices for cold-rolled and hot-dipped galvanized (HDG) coil to offset rising energy costs, but buyers are maintaining a wait-and-see attitude due to weak end-user demand, sources told Fastmarkets on Wednesday, August 31.
More flat steelmakers in Europe started to push for higher prices this week on account of surging costs of production, notably for electricity and gas, market sources said.
Europe’s largest producer, ArcelorMittal, started the trend on Friday August 26 by pushing its prices up by €50-100 ($50.10-100.30) per tonne and offering CRC at €900-950 per tonne exw and HDG at €930-980 per tonne exw.
But those offer prices were way above the level buyers would agree to pay in the current market conditions, sources told Fastmarkets and trading activity in both markets across Europe remained slow, with buyers preferring to hold back and assess the market trend.
“There is not enough demand to support the [price rises],” a trading source in Northern Europe told Fastmarkets. “It is always a hard situation when a [price] increase is only cost driven.”
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel hot-dipped galvanized coil, domestic, exw Northern Europe, was €850-880 per tonne on August 31, widening up by €10 per tonne from €850-870 per tonne on August 24.
A regional distributor reported transactions at €850 per tonne exw in the week to Wednesday and several trading sources estimated the tradeable level at €850-880 per tonne exw.
Fastmarkets’ corresponding weekly price assessment for steel cold-rolled coil, domestic, exw Northern Europe was €840-850 per tonne on
Wednesday, narrowing up from €800-850 per tonne exw seven days earlier.
Producers in the region were pushing offer prices to €900-950 per tonne exw, while buyers were reluctant to pay above €850 per tonne exw, Fastmarkets understands.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel hot-dipped galvanized coil, domestic, exw Southern Europe was €850-880 per tonne on August 31, widening up by €30 per tonne from €850 per tonne exw a week earlier.
Several sources reported that a transaction took place at €850-860 per tonne exw in the week to Wednesday.
At the same time, offers from local mills were reported at €880-900 per tonne exw.
Trading activity in Southern Europe was still slow because the market has not fully restarted after summer holidays, sources said.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel cold-rolled coil, domestic, exw Southern Europe was €830-850 per tonne on Wednesday, up by €20-30 per tonne from €800-830 per tonne.
The assessment reflected market participant estimates of achievable prices, with actual transactions rare in Italy, sources said.
Some CRC offers from South Korea were reported to Italy at €870 per tonne cfr during the week, but this level was considered too high by local buyers.
Published by: Julia Bolotova