European hot-rolled coil (HRC) prices sank deeper in the week to Friday August 26 amid limited demand and persistent overstocking. Nevertheless, ArcelorMittal increased its offers to reflect surging costs, sources told Fastmarkets.Europe’s flagship producer, ArcelorMittal, increased its offer prices for all coil products on Friday, despite weak market fundamentals.
Its new offers of hot-rolled coil (HRC) were heard at €800 per tonne ex-works for October rolling material and €850 per tonne for November rolling, several sources told Fastmarkets. This was substantially above the most recent deals concluded in Northern Europe within the range of €700-750 per tonne exw during the previous week.
ArcelorMittal’s increase was mainly due to a substantial rise in production costs amid surging energy prices across Europe, several trading sources told Fastmarkets.
Market sources said they now expect other European steelmakers to make a similar move.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel HRC index, domestic, ex-works Northern Europe at €720.00 ($717.86) per tonne on Friday, unchanged from the previous day.
The latest calculation of the index was down by €30.00 per tonne week on week and down by €137.50 per tonne month on month.
Transactions for HRC in Northern Europe were reported at €700-730 per tonne exw, but for small tonnages.
Trading activity in the region has been sluggish amid persistent overstocking, poor end-user demand and an unclear post-summer price trend. Market sources were, therefore, quite skeptical about ArcelorMittal’s price rise, considering the poor market fundamentals.
Most buyers estimated the workable price for HRC in the region to be €700-750 per tonne exw.
Fastmarkets’ calculation of its corresponding daily steel HRC index, domestic, exw Italy was €705.00 per tonne on Friday, also unchanged from the previous day.
The latest calculation of the Italian index was down by €35 per tonne week on week and down by €75 per tonne month on month.
The calculation was based on buyers’ estimates of achievable prices at €700-710 per tonne exw.
As a result of summer maintenance closures, there was minimal trading activity, sources said.
Demand for HRC in the nation has also been sluggish due to overstocking and a wait-and-see attitude among buyers.
Demand for overseas coil remained slow during the assessment week.
Buyers in Northern Europe estimated the tradeable price for overseas coil at €650-670 per tonne cfr.
Long delivery times continued to be a factor driving the low number of transactions in the import market, Fastmarkets heard.
Some customers, anticipating depressed end-user consumption, were reluctant to submit orders for stock. There were concerns that they could take many months to arrive, by which time the material could be over-priced or demand for it might be very low.
Published by: Julia Bolotova