European traders have noted in recent weeks a revival of interest in Indian hot rolled coil, after a year in which orders were significantly below the levels registered in 2021, Kallanish notes.
Indian HRC offer prices are currently increasing (see related story), but they remain the most competitive for EU buyers looking to purchase from third countries.
“I see offers from India now at some €790/tonne [$836] cfr southern Europe, up almost €60/t compared with mid-February,” a trader notes. “This increase confirms that they have had success in booking volumes during the last weeks, for sure.”
According to Eurofer data, last year India supplied around 650,000 tonnes of HRC into Europe, half the volume imported in 2021. This figure was in line with 2020 and the lowest since 2016.
During the first quarter of this year, arrivals of HRC from India have continued to remain slow. According to data compiled by UK Steel, by the end of February only around 10%, or 55,000t, of available EU safeguard quotas had been used for Indian HRC. This trend could nevertheless be reversed in Q2 as volumes ordered during January and February will be arriving in Europe.
Indian sources confirm that mills are currently looking to sell mainly small lots into Europe, to achieve higher prices than when booking bulk volumes.
Emanuele Norsa Italy