European hot-rolled coil buyers showed more interest in making bookings amid a bullish mood in the market and limited availability, sources told Fastmarkets on Monday March 6.
Integrated mills in Northern Europe were mostly offering May-rolling coil at a minimum of €820 per tonne EXW, with more price rises expected to be announced shortly, sources said.
Offers from re-rollers in the region were reported within a range of €800-820 per tonne EXW for May-delivery HRC.
A transaction was reported in Germany at €815 per tonne EXW.
Buyers, meanwhile, reported workable prices to be between €800 and 820 per tonne EXW on Monday.
At the same time, two trading sources pointed out that mills in the region were refusing to accept bids below €820 per tonne EXW, while new offers were expected to be in the range of €850-860 per tonne EXW.
Sources said that buyers had started to show more interest in making bookings lately, given the uptrend in the market and reduced supply.
“We see buyers getting nervous about availability [of HRC]. I think we will see a restocking by mid-March, since in general the level of stock is low across the supply chain, and distributors and steel service centers are short of some positions,” a mill source told Fastmarkets.
On the other hand, subdued demand from end-use sectors was casting doubts about the sustainability of the uptrend in the second half of the year, sources said.
“Mills have good order books now and there are not many imports coming in, and these two factors are the main drivers for HRC prices now. But without any real steel demand recovery, the increase cannot be sustained,” a steel service center source said.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, exw Northern Europe at €811.33 ($862.61) per tonne on Monday, up by €4.02 per tonne from €807.31 per tonne on March 3.
The latest calculation of the index was, however, up by €18.83 per tonne week on week and by €59.66 per tonne month on month.
Fastmarkets’ calculation of its daily steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, exw Italy was €795.00 per tonne on Monday, up by €7.86 per tonne from € 787.14 per tonne on March 3.
The latest calculation of the index was up by €10.00 per tonne week on week, and up by €48.33 per tonne month on month.
Activity in the Italian HRC market was largely muted on Monday, but expectations were largely positive due to reduced supply of the steel product.
May-delivery coil from local suppliers was offered at €820 per tonne delivered (about €800 per tonne EXW), sources said.
But higher prices were expected to be announced for June-delivery HRC, sources said.
One integrated mill in the south of Italy was reportedly overbooked and delaying orders, aggravating supply tightness in the market.
Published by: Julia Bolotova