EUROPE HRC WRAP: Domestic prices still rising, ArcelorMittal pushes offers up again

Domestic prices for steel hot-rolled coil increased further across Europe over the week to Friday April 9 due to a material shortage and strong demand.

At the end of last week, ArcelorMittal increased its official HRC offers to €920 ($1,094) per tonne ex-works, up by €20 per tonne from its previous offers.

The announcement followed a rise in transaction prices, with buyers paying higher prices for material to secure volumes.

Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel hot-rolled coil index, domestic, exw Northern Europe, at €896.67 per tonne on April 9, up by €53.34 per tonne week on week and by €140.42 per tonne month on month.

The index was based on achievable prices estimated by market sources at €890-900 per tonne ex-works.

Fastmarkets calculated its corresponding daily steel hot-rolled coil index, domestic, exw Italy, at €888.33 per tonne on April 9, up by €65 per tonne week on week.

The index was based on achievable prices estimated by market sources at €880-900 per tonne ex-works.

Most European producers have returned to the market for short periods to sell limited volumes before pausing their bookings, Fastmarkets heard. Such tactics allow these producers to avoid overbooking and also to return to the market and trade material when prices rise, market sources said.

Good order books among European producers also allowed them to take time to evaluate selling prices. The mills have already been offering HRC to be delivered in the third quarter of this year.

Demand for flat steel products, including HRC, has been strong across Europe, supported by low stocks among buyers. Consequently, sources expected HRC prices in Europe to continue to move up in the coming weeks.

A lack of domestic supply has spurred European buying interest in overseas material. But other resources have also been limited, according to market sources.

In less than one week, suppliers from India have exhausted their second-quarter quota for HRC imports into the EU. Customers in Europe were therefore only able to look for Indian material for third-quarter delivery.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr main port Southern Europe, was €850-880 per tonne on April 7, up by €60-70 per tonne week on week from €780-820 per tonne.

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

By the end of the week, the latest prices for Indian HRC in Europe were heard at $1,015-1,030 per tonne cfr. Suppliers were likely to increase their prices next week.

Turkish steelmakers have been redirecting HRC volumes from Europe to the United States due to the higher prices there, market sources said.

The European Commission is planning to terminate the anti-subsidy investigation into HRC from Turkey without imposing any duties, according to a letter sent from the EC to interested parties on April 7 and seen by Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets understands that this decision will be enacted only after it is published in the Official Journal of the EU.


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