EUROPE HRC: Daily price index edges up, bigger rises expected

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northern Europe edged up on Friday December 6, but transaction prices are expected to soon rise more significantly, sources told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets’ steel hot-rolled coil index domestic, exw Northern Europe, was €432.6 ($478.11) per tonne on December 6, edging up from €431.63 per tonne on Thursday.

The calculation is based on “workable” prices reported by market sources at €430-440 per tonne ex-works. No deals have been confirmed and the new transactions are likely to be settled within the price range.

The lower end of official offers, at €440 per tonne ex-works, along with bids, which came in at €425-430 per tonne ex-works, were also taken into the account for the index.

In the meantime, the region’s mills have been offering HRC at €440-450 per tonne ex-works.

The positive mood in the market has been driven by a combination of production cuts across Europe, higher re-stocking activity among distributors and a lack of competitive import offers, according to market sources.

“Mills [across Europe] are targeting price rises of €30-40 per tonne for first-quarter rolling coil in the spot market,” a trader said.

“The market is likely to accept certain price increases, most likely not reaching the offer prices, but the steelmakers are also increasing spot prices now to influence [ongoing] long-term contract negotiations,” he added.

Contracts for the full 2020 are likely to be settled with a fall of €80-100 per tonne year on year, according to market sources.

In the meantime, the spot price recovery is also being supported by lack of competitive import offers.

Key Turkish suppliers have been targeting price rises due to higher raw materials costs.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel hot-rolled coil, export, fob main port Turkey, was $450-460 per tonne on December 6, up from $430-440 per tonne on November 29.

Turkish HRC was on offer at $480-500 per tonne fob, with $450-460 per tonne fob regarded as a workable price, sources told Fastmarkets.

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