European stainless steel hot and cold rolled coil prices remain high this month due to increasing alloy surcharges. However, the effect of declining Chinese and other Asian countries’ prices is beginning to reflect on European coils. EU coil prices are reported to have stopped rising for the first time in months, Kallanish hears from market sources.
While current high values are forecast to continue through 2022, European stainless CRC levels that started from €4,000/tonne ($4,521) delivered in Europe in December are now starting at €3,900. They go up to €4,200/t delivered depending on month of delivery.
Producers are now quoting lead times for the second quarter of 2022, depending on customer and contract, and some are only supplying their own customers and refusing new clients. European mills are said to have full order books.
However, the Asian price decline is being felt on European HRC, which is now sold at €3,700-3,800/t delivered on average. HRC can be found at €3,100/t cfr from Asia, while Chinese prices for both CRC and HRC are said by importers to be around €500/t lower compared to European producers. Italy is a net importer of HRC from Asia and Italian prices are usually lower compared to northern European values.
While sheet and flats prices have increased steadily in all Western Europe, in line with coil hikes, re-rollers are now pushing up values of stainless tube, for which demand has been weaker than stainless flats, Kallanish notes.
Natalia Capra France