Latest situation in local Italian flat steel market

Tuesday, 09 July 2019 12:12:47 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

After a period of price increases and a few weeks of substantial stability, flat rolled coil prices have reversed their trend in the Italian market in the past two weeks. Currently, domestic hot rolled coil base prices (HRC) are at €450-470/mt ($504-526/mt) ex-works, against €470-480/mt recorded two weeks ago. Meanwhile, cold rolled (CRC) and hot galvanized (HDG) coil base prices are both at around €530-540/mt ($594-605/mt) ex-works. Downstream demand remains extremely low, while service centers and pipe producers hold medium-to-high stocks.

Meanwhile, imports are almost non-existent as import offers are not attractive enough, while, according to market sources, a Turkish mill has offered HRC to Italy at €450-460/mt ($504-515/mt) CFR.

At the same time, Italian and European producers in general are trying to sell their products abroad. "Paradoxically, European steelmakers are trying to sell to Turkey, although this is a market from which everyone says we must defend ourselves and which is known to have always been a great buyer of both flat and long steels from the EU," commented Tommaso Sandrini, president of Assofermet Acciai, the steel service center and distributor division of Assofermet, the Italian association representing steel and scrap distributors in the local market. According to EUROFER data, Turkey imported 542,000 mt of HRC from the EU in the January-April period of this year, i.e., 14 percent more year on year. In September, the European Commission should announce the results of its review of current safeguard measures. European steelmakers have requested changes such as the removal of the five percent yearly quota increase, as well as the implementation of country-specific quarterly quotas for imports of hot rolled flat steel products, as the EC only applied a global quota for this product category when imposing definitive safeguard measures in February this year. "I hope that the EU Commission will not impose country-specific quotas,” said Sandrini, adding, “I find it difficult to imagine a rationale to justify such a decision. The cancellation of the quota increase is more likely in my view, while a country-specific quota on Turkey would have no logic."

€1 = $1.12

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