Italian welded tube prices are increasing in November as re-rollers are pushing up values in line with the current increases of hot rolled coils in Europe.
Over the past two weeks, re-rollers have managed to eliminate the low point of the range seen in October’s contracts. Some tubemakers confirm to Kallanish they are beginning to decrease discounts gradually by 2 points this week and two more points in the coming days. At present the level of discount on welded tubes in Italy has reached 44-45%. The target is to reach 40% discount in the coming weeks.
European HRC producers are pushing up prices by some €50/tonne ($53) for January lead-time and have limited allocations for Q1 2024 following the several production stoppages implemented in Q4 and the exhaustion of import quotas. With domestic coils at €650-670/t base ex-works or delivered, the current values of welded tubes are unsustainable. Tubes levels in Italy continue to lag behind HRC values with the distribution sector chasing volumes and discounting material. Despite the general lower European consumption, however, “some apparent demand is coming back”, a source comments.
The lower European HRC availability and lower import volumes are seen supporting HRC prices in Q4 and the first quarter of next year. ArcelorMittal and other Northern and Southern European producers are announcing their intention to raise offer levels for January orders. European service centres are coming back to purchasing for the first quarter and end-year but lament lower allocation from EU steelmakers for Q1 (see Kallanish passim).
Natalia Capra France