Imports are playing a growing role in northwest Europe, especially for cold rolled and galvanized coil, with the region’s mills troubled by low domestic demand and increased energy costs.
According to statistics provided by a mill manager, imports have more than doubled over ten years. Imports of CRC in 2012 accounted for merely 15% of the EU’s CRC market. By 2022, the share had grown to 30%. For galv, the picture is similar, with a low share of 5-7% still in 2012, and more than 13% in 2021, with a rising trend. “The import share of CRC is now higher than that of plain hot rolled coil, which is at 25%,” he notes.
With a basic price of around €650/tonne ($696) for HRC, which may tick up slightly going forward, domestic mills are trying to keep prices for CRC towards €750, and for galv somewhat above. But this is becoming tougher against increasing imports at low prices, meaning lower offers will be found frequently.
The manager tells of imports of CRC currently available for €700/t cfr Antwerp. This is in line with Kallanish’s earlier findings of Indian mills claiming to sell CRC at $750-760/t cfr Antwerp. Small tonnages of 0.58mm Z140 galvanized coil were sold at $840-845/t cfr Antwerp, he adds.
“India currently has a domestic demand low, too, and they are trying to solve that problem here,” the manager says.
Christian Koehl Germany