Italian coil demand has gone quiet after the strong sales of recent weeks. Hot rolled coil contract prices are now increasing by €20/tonne ($21) compared to last week, but service centres are beginning to adopt a wait-and-see attitude, Kallanish hears.
Local steelmakers are increasing their HRC offers to €800-820/t base ex-works or delivered, from last week’s €780/t. ArcelorMittal is also pushing coil offers in Europe up further. They are now at €820/t delivered across Europe for HRC (see Kallanish 14 February).
Buyers believe European producers now have a strong advantage as traditional exporters to Italy – Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and India – have smaller allocations to Europe. Their quotes are uncompetitive and have very long lead times. Domestic HRC increases will be successfully passed on downstream, not least because all indexed contracts are also increasing in line with higher asking prices.
This week, Italian contracts are hovering at €770-800/t base delivered, with lead times extending to end-April and May.
While re-rollers are struggling to increase welded tube prices because of slow demand, service centres are reporting sustained sales volumes and shipping in January and February. New orders, however, are said to be slowing down due to increasing prices.
Natalia Capra France