Northern European CRC, HDG prices down on low demand; trend to change

Domestic prices for cold-rolled and hot-dipped galvanized coils in Northern Europe have fallen in the week to May 25 due to poor demand, but the downtrend is likely come to an end soon, market sources said.

In Northern Europe, Platts assessed CRC at Eur1,100/mt ex-works Ruhr, down Eur10/mt on the day and Eur100/mt on the week.

Demand for CRC has been weak due to lower production rates of carmakers, caused by a continuing shortage of components. As a result, delays have been done sporadically for minor tonnages, with mills ready to give substantial discounts in special cases.

Offers and achievable prices were heard at Eur1100/mt ex-works Ruhr. One Benelux source said that deals for CRC were done at Eur1,030-1,040/mt ex-works Northern Europe, but the information was not widely confirmed in the market.

Platts assessed HDG in Northern Europe at Eur1,1150/mt ex-works Ruhr, down Eur75/mt on the week.

Market participants estimated achievable prices at Eur1,120-1,200/mt ex-works Ruhr, while offers were heard at Eur1,150-1,200/mt ex-works Ruhr. One source reported deals at Eur1,150/mt delivered Benelux, making it the equivalent of Eur1,130/mt ex-works Northern Europe.

The negative trend, which settled in the market for about two months now, might come to an end, as import offers have stopped declining. With anticipated restocking and some EU producers planning to stop galvanizing lines for maintenances, domestic supply was reduced.

“I think June will bring some movement in the market, as buyers need to finally book and plan for the period after summer,” a German trader said.

“The mills have July-August delivery, but in fact, deals are mainly done for smaller tonnages for September delivery, as buyers have started to plan their stocks for autumn,” a Northern European service center said.

The introduction of export duties for steel in India, alongside some price stabilization in Asia, is expected to support domestic prices in Europe.

“Exporters are planning price rises for Europe after India introduced export duties on finished steel,” a distributor said.

In addition, three steelmakers – one in Germany and two in Benelux – were reported to be planning to close their galvanizing lines for scheduled maintenances this summer.

The situation in the south of Europe has been similar, but no transactions were heard this week.

Platts assessed CRC at Eur1,090/mt ex-works Italy, down Eur10/mt on the week. Achievable prices were reported at Eur1,050-1,100/mt ex-works Italy.

Offers of CRC from Japan were heard at $1,050-1,060/mt CFR Italy, the equivalent of Eur978-988/mt CFR Italy. The exporter refused to give discounts and claimed that it would be able to sell in alternative markets at higher prices.

Platts assessed HDG in Southern Europe at Eur1,150/mt ex-works Italy, unchanged on the week. Market sources estimated achievable prices at Eur1,150/mt ex-works Italy, while offers were heard at Eur1,150-1,200/mt ex-works.

— Maria Tanatar, Benjamin Steven