EUROPE HRC WRAP: Poor demand drags domestic prices down in north
Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northern Europe moved down over the week ended Friday April 24 due to limited demand and the bearish mood among buyers.
Fastmarkets’ daily steel hot-rolled coil index, domestic, exw Northern Europe, was €443.13 ($479.42) per tonne on Friday, down by €10.20 per tonne week on week and down by €29.37 per tonne since the beginning of April.
Official offers were heard at €455-465 per tonne ex-works, while bids and “workable” prices were heard at €420-430 per tonne ex-works. Two sources said that one mill had already accepted a bid of €430 per tonne ex-works.
The buyers refused to pay more than €430 per tonne ex-works in the domestic market, they said.
Fastmarkets’ corresponding weekly price assessment for steel HRC, domestic, exw Southern Europe, was €420-435 per tonne on April 22, compared with €420-430 per tonne ex-works a week earlier.
At the end of the week, however, official offers for domestic HRC in Italy were heard at €435 per tonne ex-works, although buyers estimated the workable price to be €410-415 per tonne ex-works.
Sentiment in the market has been downbeat due to poor demand. A large number of European automotive producers shut down their operations in March to battle the spread of Covid-19, cutting flat steel consumption.
Some of them, however, including VW Group, Daimler, Toyota and Jaguar-Land Rover, have now started to resume operations, But this will not have an immediate effect on prices or demand because the companies will operate at reduced capacity utilization rates, market sources said.
It will, however, support a slow recovery of market activity in May, market sources said.
Demand for imported HRC has been low due to long lead times and an expectation that there will be a 75% reduction in the EU’s safeguard quotas.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr main port Northern Europe, was €390-410 per tonne on April 22, compared with €395-410 per tonne a week earlier.
Import offers of HRC from Russia, Turkey and Asia have been heard at €390-420 per tonne cfr.
Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel HRC, import, cfr main port Southern Europe, was €395-405 per tonne on April 22, compared with €400-405 per tonne a week earlier.
The assessment was based on offers from Turkey and India.