Southern Europe coil import activity freezes

Southern European coil import activity has ceased during the last ten days due to the coronavirus outbreak, despite the fact that prices from exporters have decreased significantly, Kallanish learns from sources.

All traders contacted note that price indications are only nominal, as there is no activity taking place. “We sold the last batch of coils at the port in Italy last week, since then everything has been silent and new orders for new production are not being discussed,” a trader notes.

Due to the fall of scrap prices traders say that Turkish exporters could well be at $450/tonne fob and below for HRC. “The reality is if you have cash you could get amazing deals at the moment,” another source says.

Meanwhile some are mentioning South Korean suppliers as being very competitive, with nominal HRC import prices potentially falling as low as €420-430/t ($459-470/t) cfr South Europe.

Going forward the situation remains uncertain. Many traders believe that the lack of import orders could continue beyond the current lockdown. “Banks are not interested in supporting new orders from traders of steel products at the moment and I feel like this will continue beyond the lockdown,” a trader says.