Northwest EU coil still has room to fall

Coil prices on the northwest European market have gradually softened further, following the same pattern as in previous weeks, with no end in sight yet.

The mark of €700/tonne ($757) for hot rolled coil has been undercut in most of the region. “South and north of the Alps, prices are at below €700/t delivered, in some cases clearly,” an Austrian buyer tells Kallanish. In Austria, buyers may be more exposed to lower offers from Italy, where mills “are more aggressive with prices, while northern mills are trying to maintain the status quo”, he adds.

But sources in the Netherlands, too, report offers at around €690/t, while a German distribution group buyer has heard of transactions done at close to €650/t ex-works. “This is not across the board, and may be confined to some deals with a mill that needs utilisation,” he cautions. He nevertheless believes the bottom is yet to be reached but declines to bet on what level the bottom could be.

“I believe the mills have a price tag for themselves which they do not want to undercut, but don’t ask me where that is,” he says.

He reiterates that not long ago, €700/t for hot rolled and €800/t for cold rolled coil were defined as the lower limit, but these have not held up.

Christian Koehl Germany