Northwest Europe fourth-quarter coil nears sell out

Northwest European mills still have coil availability for delivery in new contracts by year-end, though buyers remain reserved about predicting further price hikes.

According to a German service centre manager, “…hot-dip galvanized is the hardest to get, followed by cold rolled, and then hot rolled comes in third.” HRC is very close to the mark of €500/tonne ($588) ex-works, with some mills offering higher and others lower. “The question is will it be paid, and I don’t think this is the case for the majority, only for those who need material very badly,” the manager says.

Mills are reaching out for even higher prices for early 2021, with €530 the highest proposal heard so far. But “…I’m not all that convinced the $500 will be reached across the board,” the manager tells Kallanish, citing signs of slackening demand in Asia.

Another buyer concurs, saying “…the resistance among stockholders is growing,” as buyers do not quite share mills’ conviction of further surges. Yet another manager notes that it is unclear how demand will develop between now and year-end, not least because of rising Covid-19 measures in various countries.