But industry participants remain optimistic for a rebalancing of supply and demand dynamics as a result of production cuts and customer restocking, sources said.
While restocking has increased, customers were not in the market for large tonnages, Fastmarkets heard.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel HRC index, domestic, exw Northern Europe at €655.00 ($715.70) per tonne on Monday, down by €2.92 per tonne from €657.92 per tonne on Friday.
The index was down by €3.63 per tonne week on week but up by €42.79 per tonne month on month.
Sources reported an uptick in restocking, but only for small tonnages, they said.
Market participants said they were uncertain about whether the market could support an uptrend in the mid to long term.
“Customers are still unsure if an uptrend is sustainable so they are careful with what they buy for stock,” a trader source told Fastmarkets.
European mills may look to raise offer prices before the Christmas holidays, Fastmarkets heard, despite customer resistance to price rises.
Workable prices were reported by buyers at €650-660 per tonne exw. Meanwhile, a deal was reported by a buyer at €650 per tonne exw.
In Southern Europe, Fastmarkets calculated its corresponding daily steel HRC index, domestic, exw Italy at €635.00 per tonne on Monday, down by €7.92 per tonne from €642.92 per tonne on November 17.
The index was up by €5.00 per tonne week on week and by €38.33 per tonne month on month.
Tradeable values were estimated by buyers at €640-650 per tonne ex-works.
Despite a lack of real activity and demand remaining weak, sources said they expect mills to increase prices by up to €50 per tonne by January 2024.
“Real activity is very weak but we expect an uptrend due to restocking and mill production cuts,” a buyer source said.
Import HRC offers for January shipment were reported to be on offer from India and Turkey to European ports at €630-640 per tonne CFR.
Published by: India-Inés Levy