Buyers have been cautious about deals due to long lead times and high transaction prices, and risks related to an expected price decrease, market sources said.
“Buyers are cautious due to the very high prices reached,” an Italian distributor said.
Steelmakers, in the meantime, have been in no hurry to give discounts to spur buyers’ interest because they have good order books. Northern European producers have been offering second- and third-quarter delivery HRC, and Italian producers have been offering March-production coil.
In addition, market sources claimed that end-consumers have had problems with passing on rising coil costs into prices for finished goods.