Steel hollow sections market in Europe ‘awfully quiet’

Steel hollow sections prices in Europe were unchanged in the week to Wednesday July 26, with the market quiet due weaker-than-usual demand during the traditional summer holiday lull.

“[The market] is awfully quiet at this moment,” a trader in Northern Europe told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel sections (medium) domestic, delivered Northern Europe was €790-820 ($874- 907) per tonne on Wednesday, unchanged from a week earlier.

While slower trading activity is usually to be expected in the holiday months, which vary from country to country in Europe, market participants told Fastmarkets that this summer has been more muted than in previous years, with low construction activity reducing consumption of all materials.

Most of Europe’s steel industry is already shut for the summer, but Italy’s rolling and steel mills are expected be closed for the holidays in August, with low demand across Europe and hot temperatures in Southern Europe in particular hampering trade and construction activity, sources said.

Traders said they do not expect any significant price movements or an uptick in purchasing activity until September.

Sections prices in Poland were stable at around €745 per tonne CPT on a theoretical-weight basis, sources told Fastmarkets.

And a source in southeast Europe said that prices in Romania were around €730-740 CPT on the same basis — although they added that, in Turkey’s price-maker market for south-eastern Europe, prices were about $750-800 per tonne fob levels.

“I don’t see any strong demand,” the source said. “Not many sales.”

Hot-rolled coil feedstock prices fell in in the week to Wednesday, with the market muted because of the weak summer holiday demand and economic uncertainty.

Fastmarkets’ daily calculation of its steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, exw Northern Europe was €656.25 per tonne on Wednesday, down by €10 per tonne from €666.25 per tonne a week earlier.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel sections (medium) domestic, delivered Southern Europe was €790-820 per tonne on Wednesday, stable week on week.

Published by: Holly Chant