Southern Europe domestic flat steel prices begin to slip

Prices for flat steel products in the Southern European domestic market edged down this week as trading sources saw a downward trend in demand.

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Hot rolled coil (HRC), cold rolled coil (CRC) and hot dipped galvanized coil (HDG) prices fell to lower levels than last week, with traders telling Steel First on Wednesday September 25 that there had been “no improvement in real consumption”.

Hand in hand with low levels of consumption, “apparent demand is on a downward spiral”, a market contact in Southern Europe said.

Prices for domestically produced HRC slipped to €450-460 ($607-620) per tonne ex-works, from €450-470 ($607-634) per tonne ex-works a week earlier.

CRC prices fell at the top of the range to €525-550 ($708-742) per tonne ex-works from a previous €525-560 ($708-755) per tonne ex-works, while prices for HDG fell to €515-535 ($695-722) per tonne ex-works from €520-545 ($701-735) per tonne ex-works on September 18.

“We thought we would see positive indicators in September, but little has happened,” a second Southern European contact said.

“Prices have to go down again because there was never enough real demand for prices to have risen so much this year in the first place,” he added.

This year has seen a series of price rises from European producers of the full range of flat steel products, including Marcegaglia, ArcelorMittal, Salzgitter and Tata Steel.

Marcegaglia this month announced its third price rise since July.

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