Prices for steel hollow sections in Europe remained unchanged in the week to Wednesday December 7, with traders saying the market had found the price floor.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel sections (medium) domestic, delivered Northern Europe was €890-920 ($934-965) per tonne on Wednesday, unchanged since November 23.
“Prices have reached a bottom, I would even say that the prices will go up again,” a source in Germany said. “Mills will push for higher prices for next year.”
Demand for sections remained low in the week, Fastmarkets heard, and traders said they expect weak construction consumption in the new year but greater price stability.
A second market participant in Northern Europe said they believed demand would pick up in January, while other traders felt the current trend of hand-to-mouth purchasing could continue up to the end of the first quarter, or first half, of 2023.
Prices for sections were heard offered at €800 per tonne in the week, but these levels were not widely confirmed by the market. Sources said any material sold at such low levels was likely older stock or imported material.
Some Italian mills have also announced longer-than-usual maintenance outages this year, which could last from three to four weeks, or up to a month.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel sections (medium) domestic, delivered Southern Europe was €880-920 per tonne on Wednesday, unchanged from November 30.
Fastmarkets heard sections prices to Poland had flattened at €745-760 per tonne levels, while sections prices to Romania were heard at €730 per tonne CPT.
Costs for the product’s feedstock, hot-rolled coil, moved up in the week, with producer sources expecting prices to rebound in the first quarter of 2023.
Fastmarkets’ daily calculation of its steel HRC index domestic, exw Northern Europe was €626.88 per tonne on Wednesday, up €5.63 per tonne from €621.25 per tonne a week earlier.
Published by: Holly Chant