High coil prices will stay: Kallanish conference

Steel prices will remain elevated even after the current downward correction in coil prices from the highs seen in summer, and could mean a new climate for steel pricing.

Francois-David Martino, chief executive of major service centre Becker SSC in Germany, says he does not see much price reduction from mills anymore, despite pressure from imports. At Tuesday’s Kallanish Flat Steel 2021 conference, he said he believes that “prices will remain high”. His assessment is in line with other market players.

Notably, the indicative price Martino gave for hot rolled coil – €900/tonne ($1,021) – is a good deal below prices quoted elsewhere in northwestern Europe. He did not specify if the figure applies only to integrated local northwestern integrated mills, or takes into account imports from in and outside the EU. Quite possibly, Becker SSC, together with its strong parent, Klöckner & Co, enjoys better offers for the volumes they buy.

Another speaker from the distribution sector, Fernando Espada of Eurometal, said “prices will be moving within a new and different range” in future. He noted that since the financial crisis of 2008/09, mill margins have not sustainably recovered, until this year. There will be a new level of prices, a “new equilibrium”, and adjustments to the pricing mechanism, he commented.

Christian Koehl Germany