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West Europe mills keep HRC offers high amid lower East Europe offers

Thursday, 30 September 2021

The European HRC market was short of pricing clarity Sept 30, with buyers still shying away from booking premature orders, and mills still firm on their offers amid ongoing automotive contract negotiations. Vast discrepancies in prices between Eastern and Western European mills have made it difficult for the market to arrive at a unanimous coils price, sources told S&P Global Platts.

European steel producers were heard to be accepting anywhere between Eur1,030-1,040/mt ex-works Ruhr and Eur1,100/mt ex-works Ruhr, particularly from Western German mills.

“The Western and Eastern mills are different, the East are usually working in spot business and they now have to sell November-December, but I haven’t heard this from Western mills,” a German mill source said.

The same source said Eastern mills were more prone to import exposure and heavily involved in the spot business, whereas Western mills have been keen to keep prices up due to contract negotiations.

“We have good orders but what will happen next year regarding contract business, mills will be cautious to reduce prices too much because they need to achieve good contract prices,” the source said.

The market has also focused its attention on the impending Q4 quota announcement for the October-December period, which is already expected to be exhausted by Oct. 1.

Indian and Russian material was expected to be the first to be exhausted due to stringent quotas volumes compared to other countries. Russian imports were heard as low as Eur770/mt CIF Italy Ports, duty paid, an Italy-based mill source said.

In the Italian market, one mill offer was heard at Eur1,010/mt ex-works Italy, and bids "firmly below" Eur900/mt ex-works Italy from large buyers, the same mill source said.

Platts assessed North European HRC prices stable at Eur1,050/mt ex-works Ruhr, and in Southern Europe, HRC prices were also assessed stable at Eur965/mt ex-works Italy.

-- Amanda Flint

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