In the first quarter of 2024, HRC prices in Europe may continue to rise

Hot rolled coil (HRC) prices remained virtually unchanged at the beginning of this week amid a slowdown in market activity ahead of the Christmas holidays, Fastmarkets reports.

European mills continued to offer these products for €700-740/t ex-works for delivery in February-March, but no major deals were made.

Producers estimated the acceptable price level in the Northern European market at €700-710/t, while buyers estimated it at €680-695/t ex-factory.

According to market participants, in the first quarter of 2024, HRC prices in Northern Europe may rise further. However, this will be harder to achieve if more blast furnaces resume operation next year and supply increases.

Offers on the Italian market were in the range of €685-725/t, depending on the supplier. Currently, there are very few import offers in Italy, in particular, according to sources, they came from Japan and Taiwan at $660/mt CIF for shipment in March for delivery in May. India offered slightly lower levels for February delivery.

Buyers on the Italian market estimate an acceptable price level at €670-705/t ex-works. According to Fastmarkets calculations, in Southern Europe (exw Italy) the price index on December 19 was €686.2/t, for the week it increased by €13.96/t and by €43.33/t for the month.

At the same time, according to Kallanish, ArcelorMittal continues to increase its hot rolled coil offer prices in Europe. Since the beginning of November, the company has introduced a series of increases in official HRC quotations. This was made possible by the recovery in global prices, more stable raw material prices and better visibility of the 2024 order book.

According to sources, this week ArcelorMittal offered HRC on the German market at €750/t ex-works. In the Italian market, offers amount to €740/t. The latest supply levels show an increase of €20-30/t compared to the previous levels recorded in early December.

As GMK Center reported earlier, global prices for hot-rolled coils continued to rise in early December, with European steelmakers raising their offers to €700-720/t. The upward trend in prices on the European market has been observed since mid-October after a prolonged decline, driven by a decrease in the supply of local products and the exhaustion of import quotas for hot-rolled coils.