European stainless coil prices seen increasing

European stainless coil prices are seen increasing as mills are implementing hikes for November delivery. Buyers, however, do not believe that values will increase as downstream demand for stainless flats and tubes remains poor, with visibility limited.

Stainless cold rolled coil in northern Europe for October delivery is at about €2,350-2,400/tonne ($2,514-2,568) delivered, while hot rolled coil is at €2,250/t base delivered on average, Kallanish hears. European mills are quoting November delivery at €2,450-2,550/t for CRC and €150/t less for HRC.

“For the moment, clients are not willing to accept increases but they will have to. Prices need to increase more throughout the value chain,” a service centre comments. The firm’s customers have some work on hand, he adds. Demand is “okay” but significantly lower than last year. Strong increases are seen happening for scrap, particularly 316 grade, due to firm molybdenum prices. These, coupled with material shortages, could lift 316 grade by as much as €200/t in the coming weeks.

Multiple sources say European mills are focusing on lobbying to tighten protectionism and investigate possible circumvention of anti-dumping measures on stainless coils.

In August, the European Commission initiated an investigation to examine the potential circumvention of anti-dumping measures placed on imports of stainless steel cold-rolled (SSCR) flat products from Indonesia. This would be done through imports of the same products from Taiwan, Turkey, and Vietnam.

A new regulation mandates that imports of SSCR flat products consigned from Taiwan, Turkey, and Vietnam, whether declared as originating from these countries or not, be subjected to registration during the next nine months (see Kallanish passim).