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EU HRC trades thin out as buyers resist stockpiling on short-term price uncertainty

At the beginning of the week on February 26th, European hot-rolled coil (HRC) deals saw a decline as buyers refrained from stockpiling due to uncertainties regarding near-term prices. Market activity was subdued, with buyers reluctant to meet the asking prices set by mills.

Some market participants anticipated a potential reduction in output by producers if demand fails to improve. Meanwhile, buyers focused on back-to-back deals and avoided building inventories, expecting further softening of prices.

In the Northwest European market, no firm offers or deals were reported for domestic HRC. However, tradable levels were estimated at Eur705-720/mt ex-works Ruhr. Platts assessed the price of domestic HRC in Northwest Europe as stable at Eur715/mt ex-works Ruhr on February 26th.

Interest in imported HRC remained low due to longer lead times and uncertainties regarding the volumes that can be allocated under safeguard quotas for Q1 from “other countries.” Offers from Indian mills were heard at Eur670-680/mt CNF Antwerp for end-May or early June-arrival cargoes, while Turkish mills made offers around Eur700/mt CIF Antwerp, including anti-dumping duties. However, there was no buyer interest in these offers. Platts assessed the price of imported HRC in Northwest Europe as stable at Eur650/mt CIF Antwerp on February 26th