European mills still have volumes available to spot buyers after the slump in steel demand from the automotive industry. Steel consumption by EU carmakers has fallen by at least 30% in the second half of 2021, according to market participants, due to the global shortage of semiconductors for onboard electronics that prevented them from producing the usual number of vehicles.
This has prompted European steelmakers to redirect coil to the spot market, which put downward pressure on prices.
The situation was unlikely to improve in January, some sources said. Others predicted that a recovery in steel demand from the automotive sector would start late in February 2022.
Spot buyers, in the meantime, preferred to remain in...