Protectionism uncertainty stalls southern EU coil import market

The import market for coils in southern Europe is getting ready to slow down significantly due to the uncertainty surrounding the safeguard review and the investigation into Turkish hot rolled coil Kallanish learns from sources.

According to traders in Italy, new orders of HRC from Turkey were booked last week at a level of €385-395/tonne cfr, but now the risk of incurring trade measures is preventing further deals. “You can order from Turkey for July shipments at the moment, but the possibility is very high that the registration process part of the AD investigation will be announced soon. For that reason, the Turkish HRC market is closing down for European buyers. Some could look into CRC and HDG,” a trader explains.

All sources agree the coils market globally is looking up in terms of prices, but Europe is in a strange position due to the uncertainty of import rules going forward into the third quarter. “Indian and South Korean suppliers are in the process of increasing their prices and so should Turkish mills be doing in the next days,” another source notes. “Nevertheless, most buyers do not want to risk now because they believe there will be a cut in safeguard quotas from the first of July,” he adds.

According to Eurofer’s latest data, EU imports of HRC during Q1 were already down by over -25% y-o-y. Turkish-origin imports saw the steepest fall of -50%.

According to a Spain-based trader, clients are now also receiving import offers for cold rolled coil at €440/t cfr and 1mm HDG at €480/t cfr.