Europe’s 2018 HRC imports rise nearly 20%

EU imports of hot-rolled coil fell 18.6% month on month in December but ended 2018 up 19.3% for the year compared with 2017, Eurofer data showed.

HRC imports declined 123,132 mt to 539,681 mt in December, while rising 1.3 million mt to 8.03 million mt for the full-year period.

Galvanized coil imports dropped 16.9%, or 80,452 mt, month on month in December to 395,378 mt, while cold-rolled coil imports fell 23.9%, or 45,915 mt, to 146,628 mt, according to the trade group.

Plate imports increased in the final month of 2018, rising 9.2%, or 13,549 mt, to 161,252 mt, but ended the year 7.6% behind the pace of 2017 at 2.34 million mt.

Hot-dip galvanized/electrocoated zinc steel and CRC imports for the full-year period rose 2.27% and 2.74% year on year, respectively.

Turkey was again the top source of HRC imports for the EU, shipping 199,574 mt in December, although that was a decrease of 21.7% compared with November.

In the full year period, Turkey supplied 2.87 million mt to the EU, compared with 1.90 million mt in 2017.

Russia sent 126,676 mt of HRC to the EU in November, a 15% drop compared with November. Full-year imports from Russia totaled 1.61 million mt, compared with 720,000 mt in 2017, according to Eurofer.

South Korean HRC shipments dropped 37%, or 9,566 mt, month on month in December to 16,574 mt, with full-year HRC volumes sliding 14% compared with 2017 to 516,877 mt.

Imports from India remained relatively stable month on month at 47,744 mt, while Egyptian shipments jumped 150% month on month to 32,003 mt.