Italian HRC producers struggle to push up values

Italian hot rolled coil producers are pushing up values to €700/tonne ($762) base ex-works amid uncertainty and weak sales volumes to both re-rollers and service centres. Demand continues to drag and costs are climbing, Kallanish notes.

One local steelmaker is trying to increase prices gradually, by €10-15/t per week. The idea is to get rid of the low point of the range at €640-650/t and make larger-volume buyers pay €700/t. Each step of price hike needs to be consolidated against the backdrop of a very fragile market.

The spread between domestic values and imported material from Asian countries remains significant. The market continues to be tough, with steelmakers dealing with high production costs and limited volumes.

In the first days of July, there has still been no sight of the much-awaited July restocking before the August maintenance closures take place. Sellers however expect some higher buying activity in the next few days despite the slow market.

Domestic HRC prices remain mostly stable on-week, with €10-15/t hikes seen in some low-tonnage contracts. Values are at between €640-660/base ex-works. The level of €670-680/t has been achieved but for extremely low volumes. 

Meanwhile, weak coil derivative sales and low prices are persisting as the sheet and welded tube markets continue to suffer. Competition and suppliers’ desire not to lose orders downstream is causing prices to continue to decline, Kallanish notes.

Natalia Capra France