Domestic prices for Europe HRC were largely stable day on day on Monday March 15, supported by a shortage of material in the region, sources told Fastmarkets.
Fastmarkets calculated its daily steel hot-rolled coil index, domestic, exw Northern Europe, at €۷۹۱٫۲۵ ($۹۴۵٫۳۹) per tonne on Monday March 15, down by just €۱٫۷۵ per tonne from €۷۹۳٫۰۰ per tonne on Friday March 12.
The index was, however, up by €۳۷٫۵۰ per tonne week on week and by €۷۳٫۱۲ per tonne month on month.
The calculation of Monday’s index was based on achievable prices heard at €۷۸۰-۸۰۰ per tonne ex-works and offers reported at €۷۹۰-۸۰۰ per tonne ex-works.
Southern Europe ***
In Southern Europe, Italian producers were reported to be offering and trading HRC at €۷۷۰-۷۸۰ per tonne ex-works.
European buyers have been struggling to secure volumes due to material shortages, market sources said. In addition, most producers in Europe have been delaying deliveries, putting further pressure on buyers.
Steelmakers have been offering limited quantities of late-third-quarter production coil at higher prices and buyers have had to accept those prices to secure material for restocking. European distributors were reported to have low stocks of coil products and to be struggling to acquire necessary volumes, sources told Fastmarkets.
Adding to buyer problems, most European producers have scheduled maintenance during the summer months – with Thyssenkrupp planning to reline one of its blast furnaces in the third quarter, for instance. Volumes produced in July-September are traditionally low.
On March 11, ArcelorMittal Italia was granted leave to continue ‘hot area’ operations at its Taranto plant in southern Italy by the Italian Council of State, overruling a previous decision by a local court in February, which had ordered the steelmaker to halt all operations in the hot area of the plant within 60 days.
But the decision to allow the plant to continue production was not final, according to sources, who said the ruling only gives the company temporary permission to operate the plant until the Italian authorities make a final decision in mid-May. Until then, they added, production rates will remain limited.
Buyers were unable to source the volumes they needed from overseas suppliers due to a combination of high prices and the impact of Europe’s anti-dumping and safeguard measures.
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