EU HRC producers turn to exports as domestic sales fall back, sources say

European steelmakers increased their exports of hot-rolled coil (HRC) in April-May 2019 to try to compensate for poor domestic demand, market sources have told Fastmarkets.

During those two months, prices for EU-produced HRC were lower than usual compared with prices in other main steel-supplying regions, driven downward primarily by sluggish trading activity. HRC is mainly exported by European mills that have easy access to ports, but offers from one mill in Germany were also heard. Turkey and the Middle East-North Africa (Mena) region have been the main outlet markets for Europe-origin HRC, according to market sources. The premium of average EU domestic HRC prices over export prices for material from China was $85 per tonne in 2018 and $84 per tonne in 2017, according to Fastmarkets’ research team. But in January-May this year, it dropped to $38 per tonne, with the minimum being reached in the second half of April and the first half of May, when the premium ranged between $2 and $8 per tonne. Since the middle of May, EU domestic HRC prices have started to rise,...


Maria Tanatar

June 07, 2019

15:28 GMT