Slow demand inhibits trading in European HRC market

Prices in the European hot-rolled coil market were broadly stable on Monday October 23, with market activity remaining depressed amid ongoing weak demand and a pessimistic outlook.

Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel HRC index domestic, exw Northern Europe at €610 ($646.20) per tonne on Monday, down by €3.13 per tonne from €613.13 per tonne on Friday October 20.

The index was down by €4.75 per tonne week on week, and down by €19.79 per tonne month on month.

Trading remained slow in the Northern European HRC market.

Despite mills attempting increase prices, these increases were not realized due to weak demand.

“Mills are hungry for orders at the moment and can offer a four-to-six-week delivery period. Restocking could begin again in November for January delivery,” one trader source said.

Even the smallest price increases for HRC are difficult to push through given the lack of demand, buyer and mill sources said.

In the week to October 20, offers were reported at around €635-645 per tonne ex-works from integrated mills in Northern Europe.

Meanwhile, buyers’ estimates of achievable levels were no higher than €600-620 per tonne ex-works.

Despite production cuts having been initiated to rebalance supply-demand dynamics, these cuts have not yet had an effect on the market due to low consumption and high stock levels, sources said.

In Southern Europe, the corresponding daily steel HRC index domestic, exw Italy was €602.50 per tonne on Monday, up by €5.83 per tonne from €596.67 per tonne on October 20.

The Italian index was up by €7.50 per tonne week on week, but down by €16.04 per tonne month on month.

Producers in the region were offering coil at €620-630 per tonne ex-works for late November-December delivery, while buyer’s estimates of tradeable levels were reported at €590-600 per tonne ex-works.

Import HRC offers were scarce on Monday.

Asia-origin HRC imports for end-December shipment were on offer to Italy at €600 per tonne CFR.

Published by: India-Inés Levy