Italy HRC prices soften as production woes remain a concern

Italian HRC prices were heard lower July 21 as import pressure and a sluggish summer take their toll on prices, sources told S&P Global Platts.

Buy-side participants were more comfortable sitting on the sidelines as they wait for material previously booked to arrive into their warehouses.

“We have some material to be delivered June-July that was previously booked in March, with the majority of companies closing in the first week of August and will be back in the last week,” an Italian trader said.

Availability concerns were still evident, particularly in Italy, with Liberty Magona still undergoing production issues.

“Liberty Magona is still closed and not producing, leaving Arvedi and Marcegaglia,” the trader said. “I see at the moment there is no willingness to buy – people preferring to wait until September to see what will happen.”

Meanwhile, a European mill source said the ongoing difficulties at the Marcegaglia Ravenna would have some affect on production.

“With the terrible accident that happened at Ravenna, those guys will be out,” the mill source said.

Sources remained certain that there would be no major prices decreases in Europe, though US prices were looking particularly attractive, potentially incentivizing producers to export across the Atlantic.

North European HRC prices were heard at Eur1,185/mt ex-works Ruhr and Eur1,170/mt ex-works Ruhr July 21.

— Amanda Flint