EUROPE HRC: Domestic prices rise again, with even higher offers expected soon

Friday 15 January, 2021

The domestic price for hot-rolled coil rose day on day in Northern Europe on Friday January 15, with mills likely to push for even higher prices, sources told Fastmarkets.

Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel hot-rolled coil index, domestic, exw Northern Europe at €716.00 ($869.92) per tonne on Friday January 15, up by €10.88 per tonne from €705.12 on Thursday.

The index was also up by €48.50 per tonne week on week and by €79.75 per tonne month on month.

The calculation of today’s index was based on achievable prices heard at €700-730 per tonne ex-works, offers heard at €730 per tonne ex-works and a deal reported at €720 per tonne ex-works.

In Southern Europe, Italian buyers made a few deals at €700 per tonne exworks with local mills, but producers are likely to increase their official offers next week, sources said.

In Northern Europe, buyers also anticipate further increases in offer prices because transaction prices have been approaching ArcelorMittal’s official level of €730 per tonne ex-works.

The price rises are being driven by combination of low availability of HRC in the market, which reflects good order books at European mills, and the lack of competitive import offers.

Northern European mills have been offering HRC for May-June shipment, with one mill already claiming to be sold out of second-quarter production, sources told Fastmarkets.

In Southern Europe, meanwhile, Italian producers have been offering second quarter rolling production. Volumes, however, are limited due to lower output at the mills, a focus on sales of non-commodity-grade products by one producer and the total absence of another.

Import offers have been limited an offers have been uncompetitive compared with domestic prices. In addition, lead times for overseas coil have been similar or only slightly longer than those of domestic EU suppliers.

Some deals for Indian HRC were done earlier this week at €690-695 per tonne cfr with an Italian buyer, but the price has since increased, according to sources. Offers for HRC from Japan have been heard at €705 per tonne cfr in Southern Europe.

And Turkish mills have been offering the material at €720-730 per tonne cfr, including the EU’s preliminary anti-dumping duties.

Buyers have been reluctant to buy big volumes of HRC because they expect prices to fall in the second quarter when domestic production increases.

Fastmarkets, 15.01.2021

Steel coil