Coil buyers in north-western Europe have little reason to buy abroad at present due to very competitive domestic offers, sources say.
“The lowest coil prices these days can be had in Europe,” one German buyer of hot rolled coil states bluntly. “I cannot get imported HRC for less than €510/t ($574) to Antwerp, but I do get it delivered to the door on the Ruhr from EU mills for €500,” he tells Kallanish.
While the picture is not all that clear in each case, the observation in general is shared by many. “International prices are not attractive enough to lure much interest; the price difference to the EU is too small,” a trader notes. Prices within the EU are relatively low compared with overseas markets.
While in Russia, China and other export countries prices recently surged by as much as $70, they have hardly moved in NW Europe. Despite ArcelorMittal’s announcements for massive hikes, orders could until last week still be had at €490/t ex-mill. For imports, the trader notes a cif price of $550 (€489), both in Antwerp and Ravenna. “And of course, the trouble with the safeguard measures and the fear of exhausting quotas comes on top of it,” he says.
It seems like the divergence in international prices has come just in time to ridicule the EU’s protective measures