Slow end-user demand pressures European downstream flat steel prices

Prices for cold-rolled and hot-dipped galvanized coil across Europe were stable to slightly weaker over the past seven days amid persistently slow demand, sources told Fastmarkets on Wednesday October 25.

Slow demand from the automotive and construction industries was a major concern for the market, sources said.

“Our clients from [the] automotive [industry] booked only around 40% of their usual tonnages for November,” a steel service center source in Germany said.

Some producers in Northern and Southern Europe still could offer December-delivery coil, which indicated weak order books.

In Germany, however, some mills reportedly could only offer January-delivery coil, but this was due to some output reduction rather than good order books, sources said.

In Northern Europe, local producers were aiming for €720 ($762) per tonne ex-works for CRC and €730-745 per tonne ex-works for HDG.

One mill estimated the price for CRC at €750 per tonne ex-works and around €770-780 per tonne ex-works for HDG.

Buyers, however, estimated tradable values to be lower, at €700-710 per tonne ex-works for CRC and €720-725 per tonne ex-works for HDG coil.

Italy-origin HDG was offered to Germany at around €760-770 per tonne delivered.

Mills claimed that due to input costs, current prices were unsustainable for them and they were mulling rises for January-delivery coil.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel cold-rolled coil domestic, exw Northern Europe was €700-710 per tonne on Wednesday, narrowing downward by €5 per tonne from €710-715 per tonne on October 18.

And the corresponding weekly price assessment for steel hot-dipped galvanized coil domestic, exw Northern Europe was €720-725 per tonne on Wednesday, stable over the past seven days.

Overseas suppliers of CRC and HDG have also been trying to push offers slightly up during the assessment week, sources said.

Asian suppliers were offering material for shipment in January-February.

Japan-origin CRC was offered to Southern Europe at €680 per tonne CFR, compared with recent bookings of €670 per tonne CFR in mid-October.

A producer from South Korea was offering CRC to Southern Europe at €675 per tonne CFR.

A Vietnamese supplier was said to be aiming for $815-830 per tonne CFR for 0.5mm HDG with z100-120 coating, for mid-January shipment.

Published by: Julia Bolotova