Seasonal slowdown keeps EU HRC prices stable, offers limited

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Europe were unchanged on July 24 due to a seasonal slowdown.

The number of offers remained limited, as a majority of mills remained inactive in the market due to either full orderbooks or effects from planned maintenances.

“I must say that market is very quiet, and most mills are not pushing except those that have short delivery times and prices around Eur660/mt base delivered [Italy],” an Italy-based source said. “Others are all around Eur700/mt delivered but not willing to give discounts.”

Platts assessed domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in South Europe at Eur645/mt ex-works Italy on July 24, unchanged on the day. The assessment was based on tradable values reported at Eur640-Eur650/mt ex-works Italy.

Despite low demand and exchange rates supporting interest in imported coil, market participants did not expect domestic prices to drop.

“I struggle to see prices moving significantly below current levels, as there has been a lot of destocking and for all the gloom on demand, sales have not been as bad,” a trader said.

Platts assessed domestic prices in Northwest Europe stable on the day at Eur655/mt ex-works Ruhr on July 24.

Offers from one mill were reported at Eur650-Eur700/mt ex-works Ruhr. Tradable values were heard at Eur650-Eur670/mt ex-works Ruhr.

A couple of market participants said that mills have been aiming for the higher prices, but they were unable to confirm new target prices.

“The increase was nothing substantial, just a euro here and there, but at the end most of them confirming the August prices for September, some even with a little discount,” a service center source said. “[A big producer] was the most demanding at the end for September — especially for hot rolled products asking for an increase of Eur15-30/mt depending on the specific product, and cold rolled was almost a roll-over.”

Author Maria Tanatar