Northern European hot-rolled coil moves up slightly

Northern European hot-rolled prices inched up again as mills in Northern Europe regained confidence in the longevity of elevated steel prices, sources told S&P Global Platts.

Steel mill ArcelorMittal issued a fresh price hike by Eur30/mt to Eur1,200/mt delivered across Europe though other mills have also been heard to offer up to Eur1,250/mt delivered Germany ex-Italy.

Overall the market is still seeing a material shortage for HRC with most of the material on offer for Q4. However, sources noticed a few more opportunities arising, although volumes are not big.

“There is more availability now, with some possibilities popping up for Sept/Oct,” said a German stockholder source. “Mills are negotiating now.”

A Northern European mill source said they would be busy preparing for Q4.

“Traditionally we would do that in August but now we’re doing that earlier. We’re completely over-asked, people are asking for more than they are traditionally,” the source said.

The mill said the occasional spot volumes coming to the market would be minimal, adding that the automotive industry is expected to take up more volumes from September.

The traditional summer lull is expected to get in full swing by the end of July, though mills will need to continue working on long order backlogs.

Import offers ex-Russia and Taiwan were heard at Eur1,080/mt CFR Antwerp, Eur105/mt below domestic Ruhr levels.

The Italian market was heard to see more pressure from imports, particularly from Turkey and India. Most purchases were heard to be on a back-to-back basis but nevertheless gave buyers more options to source material from, despite the looming new quarter of steel safeguard quotas that are expected to be filled quickly for Indian material.

An SSC source said the Italian market would be at Eur1,110-1,135/mt EXW Italy. Another offer was heard at Eur1,250/mt delivered Germany from an Italian mill, netted back to Eur1,200/mt EXW Italy.

— Laura Varriale