Downstream flat steel prices in Europe increased in the week to Wednesday March 15, driven by limited supply, Fastmarkets heard.
European producers of cold-rolled and hot-dipped galvanized coil had good order books and could offer coil with June-July delivery to the market.
Offers for CRC in the region were reported at €940-970 ($1,007-1,039) per tonne EXW and at €970-990 per tonne EXW for HDG during the assessment week.
Estimations of tradeable values, meanwhile, were reported at €920-950 per tonne for CRC and at €950-970 per tonne for HDG.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel cold-rolled coil domestic, exw Northern Europe was €920-950 per tonne on Wednesday, up by €10-30 per tonne from €910-920 per tonne on March 8.
Fastmarkets’ corresponding weekly price assessment for steel hot-dipped galvanized coil domestic, exw Northern Europe was €950-970 per tonne on Wednesday, up by €20-30 per tonne from €930-940 per tonne on March 8.
Buyers preferred to book small lots of CRC and HDG, given long lead times and mixed views on market trends in the summer.
The demand from the automotive industry — a major end-user — was stable recently.
“Demand from the automotive industry had stopped dropping; it has stabilized since early 2023, but we do not see it increasing,” a distributor said.
Nevertheless, supply of CRC and HDG in Europe was still falling short of demand, with the situation aggravated by production issues at one of the major suppliers.
Tata Steel Netherlands declared force majeure on CRC deliveries in late February, which is supposed to have aggravated the supply tightness, according to sources.
Producers in Southern Europe were also aiming for higher prices, despite cautious buying. Similar to Northern Europe, tight supply was the major factor behind the price rise.
Offers for CRC in Southern Europe were heard in the range of €930-950 per tonne EXW during the assessment week, while buyers’ estimations of tradeable levels were heard at €920-930 per tonne EXW.
HDG offers in the region were heard at €950-970 per tonne EXW. Transactions for small lots were heard at €940-950 per tonne EXW.
“[A supplier in Italy] was offering us €950 per tonne EXW for HDG [in the week to March 10], but starting this week the minimum offer from them is €970 per tonne EXW,” a distributor in Italy said.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel cold-rolled coil domestic, exw Southern Europe was €920-930 per tonne on Wednesday, up by €10-20 per tonne from €900-920 per tonne on March 8.
The corresponding weekly price assessment for steel hot-dipped galvanized coil domestic, exw Southern Europe was €940-950 per tonne on Wednesday, up by €10-30 per tonne from €910-940 per tonne on March 8.
Both assessments reflect the lower end of offers, rare deals and estimates of achievable prices.
Import offers to the region remained limited and quite high. Most overseas supplier could offer May-June shipment, which would mean July-August arrival.
So, general buying interest for imports was rather weak due to long lead times and safeguards-related risks.
CRC offers from South Korea were heard at €865-875 per tonne CFR for May-June shipment, compared with the latest bookings at €835 per tonne CFR done from South Korea in February.
Two sources also reported an offer for a limited allocation of CRC from Taiwan at €820 per tonne CFR, but it was not clear if the offer was still standing.
An offer for 0.5mm HDG with Z100 coating from Vietnam was heard at around $1,045 per tonne CFR for May shipment, stable week-on-week. No bookings were reported at this level during the assessment week so far.
Published by: Julia Bolotova