German mills sell off excess volumes, spot prices stable

European hot-rolled coil prices were stable Aug. 2, though cheaper material was available from some German mills.

Market sources continued to report Eur850/mt ex-works as the tradable level for the general Northern European market – though deals were reported as low as Eur780/mt ex-works on the day for excess volumes rejected by OEMs and redirected to the spot market.

These deals – reported at Eur780-800/mt ex-works Ruhr – were unanimously characterized as non-representative of workable price levels by distribution sources, only offered to a limited pool of customers.

The market was otherwise heard as quiet in Northern Europe with little transactional activity.

“The market is silent,” said a service-center source. “Demand from automotive is definitely recovering, so hopefully this allows prices to rise again. The big question remains – will mills and other industries have enough gas this year.”

Gas concerns are prevalent in the market related to ongoing geopolitical uncertainties, with speculation that production costs could be driven much higher if gas supplies are further restricted.

HRC in Northern Europe was assessed stable Aug. 2 at Eur850/mt ex-works Ruhr.

In the Southern market, HRC was also stable at Eur780/mt ex-works Italy.

The majority of sources saw the spot price level at Eur780/mt ex-works – with only one service center reporting higher at Eur780-800/mt ex-works Italy.

— Benjamin Steven, Maria Tanatar