Italian hot rolled coil prices continue to fall amid a market standoff that is seen continuing over the coming days, Kallanish notes. This is in line with international flat and long steel price declines, together with the downturn in raw material values.
Against the backdrop of recession fears in Europe, end-users, re-rollers and service centres continue to restrict orders to low volumes in both the local market and for import purchases. The general attitude is to wait for prices to decline further.
Sources who spoke to Kallanish say domestic quotes from some producers at €1,020/tonne ($1,063/t) base ex-works are no longer workable. Buying activity today is mostly for small volumes and sometimes from stock.
HRC is offered from the Far East at €950-970/t cfr Italy for July loading, from countries such as Japan, India and South Korea. Some Italian domestic HRC contracts are reported at €1,100-1,140/t base ex-works. By June, values are forecast to reach €1,000-1,050/t base ex-works, sources say. Low visibility and pessimism are dominating sentiment.
Natalia Capra France