EUROPE HRC WRAP: Domestic prices continue to rise on material shortage
Domestic prices for steel hot-rolled coil increased further across Europe over the week to Thursday April 1 due to a material shortage and good demand.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel hot-rolled coil index, domestic, exw Northern Europe at €843.33 ($993.44) per tonne on April 1, up by €21.66 per tonne week on week and by €103.33 per tonne month on month.
The calculation of Thursday’s index was based on achievable prices estimated by market sources at €840-850 per tonne ex-works.
Official offers from ArcelorMittal have been heard at €900 per tonne ex-works across Europe. No other steelmakers were heard to be offering coil.
Fastmarkets calculated its corresponding daily steel hot-rolled coil index, domestic, exw Italy at €823.33 ($969.88) per tonne on April 1, up by €15 per tonne week on week.
The Italian index was based on achievable prices heard from market sources at €820-840 per tonne ex-works.
Buyers have mainly been concerned with coil availability. A majority of mills have been holding back from making offers, and those willing to trade have limited volumes. European mills have been offering late-third-quarter-rolling HRC, and they claim to be sold out for 2021 production for some downstream products.
Demand has remained strong due to some distributors having low stocks. Buyers that have their stocks covered until July-August are becoming concerned about availability for the third quarter, and they have become more interested in making deals, sources said.
Bullish sentiment in the European market has also been supported by an absence of overseas suppliers.
Market participants were still concerned that the return of import offers would not help with shortages because they would still be uncompetitive - largely due to the effects of Europe’s anti-dumping and safeguard measures, but also due to recent increases in ocean freight rates.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr main port Southern Europe was €780-820 ($914.63-961.53) per tonne on Wednesday March 31, unchanged over the week.
And the weekly price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr main port Northern Europe was also stable over the week at €770-800 ($902.90-938.08) per tonne on the same date.