EUROPE HRC WRAP: Domestic prices continue slow recovery on lack of import competition

Domestic prices for steel hot-rolled coil moved up across Europe in the week ended Friday July 10, supported by the continuing lack of competitive import offers.

Fastmarkets’ daily steel hot-rolled coil index, domestic, exw Northern Europe, was calculated at €404.00 ($456.48) per tonne on July 10, up by €2.00 per tonne week on week and by €6.08 per tonne month on month.

Friday’s index was based on deals and workable prices heard at €400-410 per tonne ex-works.

Official offers were heard at about €440 per tonne ex-works.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, domestic, exw Southern Europe, was €385-405 per tonne on July 8, up by €5 per tonne week on week from €380-400 per tonne.

The assessment was based on deals heard in the market, while official offers were reported about €10-15 per tonne higher than the transaction prices.

Steelmakers across Europe achieved gradual price increases over the week, supported by the lack of competitive import offers in the market.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr main port Southern Europe, narrowed upward to €390-400 per tonne on July 8, compared with €380-400 per tonne a week earlier.

The assessment was based on the lower end of offers heard in the market.

Offers from Turkish steelmakers were heard at €390-400 per tonne cfr Italy. And offers from Egypt and Taiwan were reported at €415-425 per tonne cfr.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr main port Northern Europe, was €410-415 per tonne on July 8, up by €5-10 per tonne week on week from €400-410 per tonne on July 1.

The assessment reflected offers of HRC from Russia.

Buyers still have sufficient stocks of HRC, although market activity has been gradually recovering after Covid-19 lockdowns across Europe, and distributors have started to book some volumes for restocking.

Although demand has improved since the lockdown measures were eased in Europe, it remained slow, sources said. And some market participants questioned the possibility of a domestic price recovery unless steel demand, particularly from the automotive segment, showed a rapid revival after the summer.

Market sources believed that the price recovery might slow down in the second half of the summer on seasonal factors. Mills were likely to re-evaluate their price goals during the period and would try to achieve further price rises in late August-early autumn.

The availability of imports was likely to remain limited due to the anti-dumping case into Turkish HRC and the review of safeguard measures that the European Commission introduced from July 1 this year.

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