European market leader ArcelorMittal has once again hiked its hot-rolled, cold-rolled and hot-dip galvanised coil prices.
The producer is now targeting €1,100/t for Hot Rolled Coil and €1,250/t for Cold Rolled Coil and hot-dip galvanised coil with immediate effect. The lead time depends on region, with eastern European deliveries available more quickly, while buyers in northwest Europe are already facing October and November deliveries in some cases.
The increase is unsurprising, as the mill’s previous offer already looks cheap compared to the actual market — its last offer was €1,050/t, and Argus’ benchmark daily northwest EU HRC index was above this level at €1,055.25/t yesterday. Other mills had already started offering as high as €1,100/t prior to the latest announcement, and small sheet tonnages have reportedly transacted as high as €1,150/t on an ex-works coil equivalent basis.
The announcement has come earlier in the week than has typically been the case, given holidays in much of mainland Europe later this week. The €50/t move is higher than the recent incremental steps, particularly on HRC, which have been around €20-30/t.
High freight rates are enabling domestic producers to keep pushing prices higher, as they are making import options more expensive. Russian material was offered at €1,010/t fca Antwerp last week, but that level is likely to be higher again when the new quote is issued later this week.
Although the semiconductor-related automotive stoppages and slowdowns are a worry for producers, and the wider supply chain, sell-side sources suggest any reduction will lead to strong pent-up demand once the situation normalises.
Publication date: 12 May 2021
By Colin Richardson