European tube prices to increase

Welded tube values in Europe are set to increase, in line with higher contracts and quotes for hot rolled coils. Tube prices are said to have reached rock bottom with Italian re-rollers implementing price increases already for December and reducing discounts, re-rollers and distributors in Italy tell Kallanish.

The price fall for tubes has accelerated over the past three weeks bringing some values below sustainable levels. Over the past two weeks however, large buyers in Germany and other European countries have returned to purchasing from southern European re-rollers. From a situation of relative standstill, the European market is said to have become “dynamic” again.

The level of discounts in Italy reached some 38 points this month. Italian re-rollers intend to recover 4 points until 1 January. Each point of discount for those who use the discount system is equal to €13-14/tonne ($13.8-14.8) depending on product. This week discounts in Italy are already beginning to decline to 36-37 points. The objective is to start the year from 34 points of discounts on average, sources say.

Re-rollers see HRC prices continuing to increase in January. Sources say that next month sustainable prices for coils should reach the level of €700/t base ex-works in Europe. All increases for coils and derivatives however are seen happening in a gradual way. The market remains fragile with reduced downstream consumption and prudent purchasing, Kallanish notes.

Natalia Capra France