HRC prices inch down in Northern Europe, downtrend to continue

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northern Europe declined slightly on limited demand and bearish trend that were likely to persist, market sources said on May 9.

Hot-rolled coil in Northern Europe was assessed down Eur5 day on day at Eur1,170/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Some buyers have received offers from the region’s producers at Eur1,160-1,170/mt ex-works Ruhr, and others claimed that the offers had been higher at Eur1,200-1,210/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Achievable prices were estimated by buyers at Eur1,150/mt ex-works Ruhr. One steelmaker, however, said that the workable prices were Eur1,200-1,250/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Negative sentiment in the market has been supported by reduced demand from majority of end consumers, including automotive and white goods segments, sufficient stocks of distributors and competitive import offers, particularly in southern Europe.

The downtrend could be slowed down by high energy costs and restocking activity, sources said.

In addition, steelmakers in Northern Europe were reported offering limited volumes with short validity times of the offers in the attempt to limit volumes in the market and maintain prices under control, sources said.

“Honestly, I think that Eur1,150 ex-works will be the final level, but if it’s already in the market in deals and offers the mills will have to expect very hard negotiations for the second half of 2022 contracts,” a German trader said. “The discussions will start soon, and if now the spot price is that low I think they cannot keep similar levels for 6 months contract.”

Domestic HRC in Italy was stable day on day at Eur1,150/mt ex-works.

Official offers were reported at Eur1,150/mt ex-works and buyers believed that prices of Eur1,050-1,100/mt ex-works would be achieved soon.

Import offers of HRC from Turkey, Egypt and Asia were heard at Eur960-980/mt CFR Italian ports. The prices include anti-dumping duties where applicable.

— Maria Tanatar, Benjamin Steven