Italy price strength drives erosion of Northern Europe HRC premium

Strong price growth in Italy this month has almost removed the domestic price premium traditionally enjoyed by hot rolled coil (HRC) produced in Northern Europe over its Southern European equivalent.

Metal Bulletin’s weekly price assessment for domestic HRC in Northern Europe was €520-540 ($611-635) per tonne ex-works on Wednesday September 27.
The corresponding price assessment in Southern Europe was €510-540 per tonne ex-works on the same day.
In January-August of this year, domestic HRC prices in the north of the region were about €20-50 per tonne higher than in the south, reflecting the traditional price difference between the two areas.

Steelmakers in both the Northern and Southern parts of the EU sought price rises in the first half of September because of a recovery in market interest after the seasonal slowdown...