Press releases

EU billet exports competitive on weak euro and slow demand - 16 May 2012

The weakness of the euro during the last ten days has made the billet export offers from European countries such as Spain and Italy increasingly competitive. In addition to that, the weak demand in the domestic European market has pushed offer prices down somewhat this week compared with last week.

North African traders and buyers confirmed available South European offers at the moment for June delivery; some sales were reported last week and are expected to continue this week. Spanish mills are reported to be the most active in the market, but some offers from Italy have also been heard. Nevertheless a source at a European producer said June availability of billets has been sold out already.

A source in Italy confirmed offers for export being at €460/tonne fob Marghera, but it is understood freight costs from Spain into North Africa are the cheapest in Europe, making them the most competitive at the moment.

This week Moroccan and Tunisian sources reported offers received at $615-625/t cfr Casablanca, a level confirmed by the producer source in Europe. A trader stressed that these offers were down some $6/t compared with last week, to $623/t cfr Casablanca.

While Moroccan buyers are currently looking to place some orders to replenish stocks, a trader reported clients bidding this week at $605-610/cfr Casablanca, while some sales are believed to have been done at $614-620/t cfr.


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