The European steel coil market was set to see higher prices early in 2021, with EU mills sold out until the second quarter and lead times extending as far out as May, industry sources said.
Hot-rolled coil, cold-rolled coil and hot-dipped galvanized products have become difficult to acquire, with buyers who once relied primarily on imported material now seeking orders from domestic sellers.
HRC spot prices were expected to touch Eur700/mt by mid-Q1, sources said, even though increased offers from ArcelorMittal in December saw HRC hit a nine-year high.
Mills had been pushing to finalize deals ahead of the year-end break in order to capitalize on the forward pricing momentum, with mill-side players confronted with a backlog of requests from customers eager to book material at prevailing prices.
While prices were expected to move higher, „if we reach the level of Eur700-800/mt ex-works Italy, I believe that the Koreans, Taiwanese, Vietnamese and Turks might think of coming back to Europe