EU HRC: ArcelorMittal increase fails to buoy market

  • : Metals
  • 19/01/31

ArcelorMittal's €30/t increase with immediate effect across the coil product suite failed to reverse sentiment in northwest Europe today.

Argus' daily northwest Europe hot-rolled coil index slipped by another €1.25/t to €503/t ex-works as well-stocked buyers refrain from large bookings given slender lead times. ArcelorMittal still has March rolling available at some plants, although sources said it was closer to April in the northwest.

There is a concerted effort to push prices higher. A Benelux-based stockholder received an offer up by €20/t from his last quotation. And competitive export sales at $510/t cfr Egypt for 10,000t are no longer repeatable. One trader said he received an offer at $530/t cfr, while another said this offer has already been pulled.

But buyers are in no rush to purchase, so Europe is still lagging the rest of the world after recent increases in Asian, Black Sea and Turkish pricing. Raw material costs have also risen, notably iron ore, and mining firm Vale's decision to reduce pellet output in the next one to three years could support high-grade pricing.

Mill representative said there has been an increase in price-checking inquiries from buyers, although they have not led to a stronger orderbook as yet.

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