Not quite two weeks ago, Tata Nederland declared force majeure over the malfunction of a cold-rolling mill at Ijmuiden that has failed to run up properly.
The announcement has of course raised concern in the coil market over potential supply shortages. But not across the board. “I do not see it causing any shortage,” an Austrian manager tells Kallanish. “We are far from it, and there are enough of others [suppliers] to compensate.”
Another Austrian however offers a different view. “You do feel that Tata is out of the game; their problems do have repercussions,” he says. Meanwhile, a German trader denies current outages pretty explicitly as “definitely non-existing”. But he, too, concedes they could come further down the road – mainly for automotive coil grades, rather than for commodity DC01 coil. Northwest European mills’ current DC01 CRC transaction values are pegged at €930/tonne ($984).
A differentiated view comes from a person closer to the source of the problem in the Netherlands who observes the overall market’s purchasing behaviour. “European buyers who had so far postponed their restocking will now face trouble,” a Dutch manager believes. He furthermore points at nearby Belgium, where he hears of similar problems at NLMK, which possibly still needs to fully recover from its fire in December.
Christian Koehl Germany