Northwest Europe-based steelmakers aim for higher hot-rolled coil prices

Steelmakers in Northwest Europe were targeting higher domestic prices for hot-rolled coil on Dec. 29 despite a seasonal slowdown at the year’s end.

Mills in the other regions of Europe are likely to follow the price increase in January, sources said.

A big European steelmaker increased HRC offers to Eur730/mt ex-works Ruhr this week. A smaller German steelmaker had increased the offers up to Eur740/mt ex-works Ruhr last week. Another German mill had been targeting prices of Eur700/mt ex-works and higher, according to a Germany-based distributor.

A Northern Europe-based service center source estimated tradable value at Eur670-Eur690/mt ex-works Ruhr and a trader reported achievable prices at Eur650-Eur700/mt ex-works Ruhr.

Platts assessed North European hot-rolled coil unchanged on the day at Eur680/mt ex-works Ruhr on Dec. 29.

The mills’ bullish approach has been supported by combination of stronger demand in December that was expected to revive further in mid-January, higher energy costs that steelmakers need to cover, a lack of competitive import offers and effects from production cuts introduced by steelmakers in 2022.

The assessment for domestic HRC in Southern Europe was also stable day on day at Eur670/mt ex-works Italy Dec. 29.

Platts is part of S&P Global Commodity Insights.

— Maria Tanatar