Prices stabilize in Italian HRC market

Friday, 19 July 2019 13:44:31 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

After falling in early July, hot rolled coil (HRC) prices in the Italian market have stabilized at €450-470/mt ($509-531/mt) ex-works in the past two weeks and may even increase in the coming period. At the same time, they are mostly at €470-480/mt ($531-542/mt) ex-works in northern Europe. Due to issues relating to ArcelorMittal Italia and the production cuts announced by several European producers in recent months - this week Liberty Ostrava in the Czech Republic announced that it will cut production by 20 percent - there are rumors of new price increases impending in August and September. For this reason, there is a renewed (albeit still slight) interest in imports, where offers are generally between $460-480/mt CFR Italy. Nevertheless, many market players wonder how successful any price hike announcements can be.

Demand continues to be low both in the Italian market and in the rest of Europe, mainly due to the weakness of the automotive sector, but also due to the lower activity typical of the summer period. The latest figures from the European auto manufacturers association (ACEA) indicate that new car registrations fell by 3.1 percent year on year in the EU in the first half of the year. In June, they decreased by 7.8 percent year on year in the EU and by 2.1 percent year on year in Italy. Meanwhile, the European Steel European (EUROFER) has stated that apparent steel consumption in the EU fell by 2.5 percent year on year in the first half of the current year and is expected to fall by 0.6 percent in 2019, before rising by 1.3 percent in 2020.

€1 = $1.13

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