Coil buyers in north-western Europe remain largely unimpressed by ArcelorMittal’s recent double price increase announcements of €30/tonne ($34/t) each for coil products. Not even the first one has so far come anywhere near the point it wanted to reach and “… in some cases, there were hikes of €10-15/t from what we heard,” Kallanish hears from one German trader.
His personal view is that coil prices are still very much at the low point reached earlier. This means around €490/t ex-works for hot-rolled coil, and around €590 for both cold-rolled and hot-dip galvanized. This assessment falls very much in line with what was heard in mid-February. A similar hiatus in movement, in defiance of a price increase announcement also of €30/t, has been heard from Italy.
One Dutch manager states that deliveries are well in excess of the specified tonnages indicated in the original orders, and that most of the mills are respecting confirmed delivery times. “In other words, why increase prices?” he wonders.
According to the trader, most players along the supply chain, except for the end-users, would like to see higher prices. He finds that prices are relatively low in Europe, especially given that imports cannot seriously compete. “But it remains to be seen if higher prices can be pushed through,” he says.