Southern EU HRC import offers remain uncompetitive

Import offers of hot rolled coil into southern Europe are still uncompetitive, despite some source believing service centres will soon need to replenish their stocks.

Turkish suppliers are still reported to be offering at €480-490/tonne ($527-537) cfr. This is well above the €440-460/t ex-works base transaction levels registered in Italy and not competitive compared with offers in the Spanish domestic market.

“Service centres in Italy are sniffing around, but domestic material remains more competitive than imports,” a trader notes.

The market is in limbo this week due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in Italy. Arvedi, a local flat products supplier, says production and deliveries are not impacted. Nevertheless, a trader notes demand will be hit. “The market should not suffer from the recent news in Italy, but, effectively, demand will be impacted negatively during the next weeks,” he says.

According to the Kallanish price series, import prices for HRC remain at their peak since June 2019. The differential of €35/t is also very high compared with recent periods. This indicates that if import levels remain elevated, domestic mills should have the possibility to further lift transaction prices in their respective markets.