EUROPE HRC WRAP: Domestic prices inch up on tight supply
Domestic prices for steel hot-rolled coil across Europe continued to rise, but at a slower pace, over the week to Friday September 25, driven by reduced supply from domestic mills and a lack of competitive import offers.
Fastmarkets calculated the daily steel hot-rolled coil index, domestic, exw Northern Europe, at €488.02 ($567.46) per tonne on Friday, up by €1.10 per tonne week on week and by €45.19 per tonne month on month.
Friday’s index was based on deals heard at €485-490 per tonne ex-works, achievable prices estimated by market sources at €485-495 per tonne ex-works and offers reported at €480-500 per tonne ex-works.
Northern European steelmakers were largely offering December-rolling HRC, sources told Fastmarkets.
Some of the region’s steelmakers have been offering HRC at prices as high as €520-530 per tonne, but these offers were not included in the index because no deals have been confirmed in that price range.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, domestic, exw Southern Europe, was €470-480 per tonne on September 23, compared with €460-480 per tonne a week earlier.
In Southern Europe, Italian steelmakers have been trading HRC at €470-480 per tonne ex-works.
Official offers both to the domestic market and to elsewhere in the region have been heard at €480-500 per tonne ex-works.
Offers of similar material in Spain have been heard at €480-490 per tonne delivered.
Domestic prices have been supported by a combination of reduced output from European mills and a lack of competitive import offers.
The situation with domestic supply might change, market sources said, because more steelmakers in the north have resumed operations of the equipment idled during Covid-19 lockdowns earlier this year. Last week, ArcelorMittal relit blast furnace (BF) No1 at its Fos-sur-Mer plant in France and BF No3 at its Bremen production site in Germany.
In Southern Europe, Italian mills have also reduced output. One steelmaker has not fully resumed operations after carrying out a furnace replacement while another integrated mill in the south of the country, which faces industrial action, has stopped downstream production and has been delaying orders made earlier, sources told Fastmarkets.
Traditional HRC exporters to Europe preferred to sell material to Asia due to the higher prices available in that region. The offers in the market have been either in line with or higher than offers available from domestic mills.
Further, they added, European steel association Eurofer has requested the registration of HRC imports from Turkey as part of an anti-dumping case. If accepted, this move could result in the retroactive application of tariffs, thereby putting off European buyers. The registration might start as soon as mid-October this year, market sources said.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr main port Northern Europe, was €480-485 per tonne on September 23, up by €5-10 per tonne week on week from €470-480 per tonne.
The assessment reflected offers of material from Russia’s Severstal.
The corresponding price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr main port Southern Europe, was €470-490 per tonne on September 23, compared with €470-485 per tonne on September 16.
The assessment reflected offers of material from Egypt, Turkey and India to Italy.
Offers of material from Egypt to Spain have been heard at $575-585 per tonne cfr, and from India at $580 per tonne cfr. Turkish suppliers have been staying away from the market due to the anti-dumping probe, market sources said.
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