Turkish HRC remains strong, mills selling September rollings

Turkish hot-rolled coil prices remained strong ahead of the five-day Ramadan holiday break starting May 12, as mills are taking orders for September rollings.

Although ongoing rises in Chinese and EU markets are interpreted as a signal for further hikes after Ramadan by some market participants, especially by some producers, some of market participants are expecting prices to reach a balance in the coming weeks in line with the normalization in EU and the US markets with the ease of pandemic due to successful vaccination.

Turkey, however, continued to try to prevent the rise in COVID-19 cases with a lockdown until the end of the Ramadan holiday, May 17, amid some vaccine availability problems.

Turkish producers have been offering HRC to the domestic market at $1,060-$1,080/mt ex-works for September rollings, depending on producer and tonnage, while mills’ CRC offers stood at around $1,340-$1,360 mt ex-works, S&P Global Platts learned from industry sources.

An executive of a Turkish HRC mill told Platts May 6 that their HRC offers were at $1,070/mt both to the domestic and export markets for September rollings, same as last week, adding that demand remained strong.

Saying that they have received HRC offers at $1,070/mt ex-works from domestic producers and at $1,030-1,035/mt CFR from CIS suppliers, a Turkish pipe producer executive said he heard a major Turkish HRC producer sold 50,000 mt of HRC to the domestic market at $1,065/mt ex-works for September rolling this week.

“Domestic producers are saying that as they have been receiving strong demand from export markets and Turkish re-rollers, they are expecting prices to rise further after the Ramadan holiday,” the manager noted.

Confirming that Turkish HRC producer offers remained strong as high as $1,080/mt ex-works, a manager of a Turkish cold-rolled coil producer said demand for coated coil also remained strong in export markets, while domestic demand remained limited.

“We have bought some HRC tonnages both from domestic and export suppliers, as prices didn’t show any softening signs. So, we are obliged to reflect these rises to our coated coil list prices,” the manager said, adding that their 0:50 mm thick CRC offer price is currently at $1,360/mt ex-works, higher than their 0.50 mm HDG offer price, which is currently at $1,330/mt ex-works, due to high demand for CRC, amid availability issues.

A service center manager told Platts April 28 that he is expecting prices to reach a balance in June, as EU and US markets are rapidly normalizing, which could ease availability issues. “I have talked with one of my colleagues in Italy this week. He is also expecting availability issues to ease in the coming weeks and prices to reach a balance,” he said, adding that price stabilization will also support domestic market recovery.

The manager noted that he heard a Turkish producer sold a significant HRC tonnage at $1,055/mt ex-works at the beginning of the week.

— Cenk Can