Northwest Europe coil shows meagre price recovery signs

Some initial signals are being seen for attempted price increases in Europe, north of the Alps, but they are still too weak to result in a rebound of coil prices.

According to a southern German manager, hikes of €50/tonne ($53) announced by a Czech mill for February rolling/delivery are actually meant seriously. “We would have ordered at January’s prices, but they [Czech supplier] refused,” he tells Kallanish. The hike would take the offer price from €630 to €680/t, he says.

This would be in support of the offer prices of northwestern mills, which have been held “above €650 for most of the time, give or take a tenner,” one buyer in North Rhine-Westphalia says. But while he has not bought for a long time, others did, and tell of deals well below that mark when a transaction came about.

The former manager confirms so, but finds that discounts are not granted as easily any more as they were a couple of weeks ago still. “I feel that a certain pride in the pricing is coming back,” he observes. Regarding the relatively clear increases that have been seen in Italy, he notes that the Italian market works by a different logic, largely due to the influence of imports. “Import prices rose two weeks ago, and the Italian mills followed up,” he comments.

Higher import prices are meanwhile also being registered in the north, and could have an influence. “Last week, some volumes were offered for Q2, and were sold very quickly, and now mills in Taiwan and Indonesia have gone up $20-40,” the NRW buyer says. This takes import prices close to the level of northwest EU mills, “which will then be encouraged to go up, too”, he predicts.

Christian Koehl Germany