German floods spare coil prices

The damage and impairments caused by heavy rain on the Ruhr will put extra pressure on coil supply, observers point out.

At this moment, however, roughly a fortnight after the rain, it is still too early to put a figure on missing or delayed volumes, or resulting price increases. Some warehouses were hit by the waters themselves, and are occupied with clearing the damage before getting back to business. Others, without irony, said the disaster at least came at a relatively convenient time – in summer, when business is slow anyway.

Offers from northwestern European mills are too scarce to be tangible. The market leader has not yet topped the call it gave in June, when putting hot rolled coil at €1,200/tonne ($1,425) ex-works, assuming it is available.

Some other northwestern mills came out with offers of up to €1,260 in July. Such rumours were dampened by the rain, but not necessarily unrealistic, if set against offers from elsewhere. According to a Scandinavian processor’s buyer, the latest offer from Eastern Europe was “easily above €1,200”.

An Austrian service centre buyer gives a more moderate opinion. He sees a wider range of prices from third countries, starting at €1,100. Quite possibly, he is exposed to cheaper offers altogether due to the proximity to Italy.

Bargains could however be possible even for buyers from further afield. One Ruhr-based manager tells Kallanish of a recent deal he struck for cold rolled coil from Italy for delivery in November at €1,180/t. This is a far shot from the €1,300 asked for by the market leader, and considered realistic by most observers – even in Austria.

Christian Koehl Germany