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NW European coils rise, but mill offers not achieved yet - 26 January 2012

Transaction prices for new hot rolled coil in northwestern Europe are continuing to increase, Steel Business Briefing learns from market participants, but producers have yet to fully achieve the latest asking prices.

Buyers and traders in the market report the highest price paid for HRC so far this week at a base price of €530/t ($686/t) ex-works, a rise of €10/t on last week's transaction prices. Meanwhile, some new bids were heard this week at €540/t ex-works, up €10-20/t from last week. Earlier this month, major mills in Northern Europe started offering March rolling HRC at €550/t ex-works, as previously reported.

“Those who purchase on a quarterly basis have secured the supply for Q1 at €510-520/t ex-works for hot rolled coils. In the spot market, on the other hand, we didn’t see any booking above €520-530/t ex-works base price yet, but we believe clients will have to accept the level announced by the mills by mid-February,” a distributor in Belgium comments, stressing southern European HRC is available at €540/t DDP and Turkish at €545-550/t CIF.

A similar trend has been noted in the cold rolled coils market. Mills are currently offering March production at €600-620/t ex-works base price, but the latest transactions are believed to have been made at €570-590/t ex-works, a distributor in the Netherlands says.

Mills have not yet begun to quote for Q2 rollings. Changes to the euro/dollar exchange rate or new offers from Chinese mills following the Chinese New Year could prevent further increases, SBB hears.

A German source comments: “I believe European mills have to focus on achieving their March asking price first. At the moment with material at Antwerp dockside still available at lower prices, I don’t believe €550/t ex-works is a realistic price. I bought at €520-530/t effective ex-works for standard material from traders at docks.”


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