EUROPE HRC WRAP: Domestic prices rise further in Northern Europe
Domestic prices for steel hot-rolled coil continued to recover in Northern Europe in the week ended Friday July 31.
Fastmarkets’ daily steel hot-rolled coil index, domestic, exw Northern Europe, was calculated at €412.50 ($485.77) per tonne on July 31, up by €4.29 per tonne week on week and by €15.62 per tonne month on month.
Friday’s index was based on a deal heard at €410-415 per tonne and “workable” prices heard at €410-420 per tonne. Deals were heard at €410-420 per tonne ex-works earlier in the week.
Official offers of HRC from the region’s steelmakers were also heard at €440-450 per tonne, but buyers did not consider those prices workable. Offers at this level indicated that mills intended to increase their prices, market sources said.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, domestic, exw Southern Europe, was unchanged over the week at €390-400 per tonne on July 29.
The assessment reflected deals and “workable” prices heard in the market, while official offers were heard at €400-410 per tonne ex-works.
Buyers noted that achievable prices were slowly moving toward €400 per tonne, with producers reluctant to accept lower prices.
Market activity gradually declined over the week because the European market is entering the traditionally slow month of August, but sentiment remained positive.
Steelmakers will resume production at higher rates after scheduled maintenance and buyers will return to the market looking for orders in September, market sources said, prompting producers to expect to achieve some further price recovery.
Domestic prices will also be supported by low interest in imported HRC due to long lead times and tougher European safeguard measures, which came into force on July 1, 2020.
In addition, flat steel consuming industries, such as the automotive sector, have started slowly to recover from the fall in consumption during the Covid-19 lockdowns across Europe.
The European Automotive Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reported a 22.34% year-on-year decrease in car sales in June. This compared with a decrease of 52.30% year-on-year in May and a fall of 76.32% year-on-year in April this year.