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EU CRC market activity slightly up, prices stabilise - 9 July 2012

Activity in the European cold rolled coil market has risen slightly over the last ten days, with buyers ordering for September requirements as they have low inventories.

Sources concur that prices throughout Europe have stopped falling, but they were reluctant to speak of any real increases despite the desire by some mills to pass on slight price rises.

“We are noticing [that] we are able to sell volumes we weren’t able to before. It is difficult to say prices are increasing, but for sure we are giving less discounts as people are more keen to buy,” an agent from a major EU supplier commented.

A source in Germany reported sales this week made from mills to stockholders at €580-610/tonne DDP base, depending on the mill’s location. Despite the impending summer holidays, activity is better than in May and the beginning of June, he said. “Mills are trying to sell at higher prices, it’s true, but the direct competition with the service centres is keeping transaction prices stable."

Another source said production cuts being applied by most European producers are taking effect, though he stressed they are mainly focussed on hot-rolled coils, with more reductions needed to balance supply and demand in the CRC and HDG markets.

In southern Europe activity also picked up slightly, with a Spanish source saying there has been some slight restocking despite real demand remaining subdued. “CRC transaction prices in Spain are now above the €590/t DDP base, while before mid-June prices were in some cases below that level,” a supplier said.


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