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Offers from stocks at EU ports weighing on HRC prices - 4 May 2012

The coil market in Europe remains fairly quiet this week, as most of the countries enjoyed two days holidays and buyers keep placing only small orders waiting for more clarity regarding prices, Platts Steel Business Briefing learned from market sources.

Nevertheless, sources concurred the market “is coming off step by step” as Q3 price indications are not out yet from European mills and some competitive offers from dockside material are putting pressure on the market. Traders are believed to have low availability of material at docks and new orders from third countries continue being slow, but some suppliers are selling at competitive levels.

In Antwerp, a trader reported selling Indian S235 HRC at €540-545/t FOT last week, while in Italy offers from the ports are reported this week at €525-535/t FOT and in Spain at as low as €515/t FOT. A trader in the Iberian Peninsula noted that a northern European HRC producer was offering prompt delivery material below the €510/t mark, putting pressure on the whole market.

Meanwhile, official asking prices from major North European mills have not changed during the last weeks.

This week, a distribution source in the Benelux reported June deliveries from major mills still available at €530-540/t base price ex-works, while some new offers were seen from Scandinavian mills in the market for end of June deliveries.

In southern Europe some new discounts have been reported by traders, with some transaction being made at around €510/t base ex-works from Italian suppliers. A source in the Italian market reported official asking prices from the major supplier, Ilva, being at €515-520/t ex-works base, but some discounts are being applied for new orders. Once source reported hearing transactions at €502/t base, but this could not be confirmed by other market sources.


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