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European stainless flats demand resumes, prices to increase

European stainless steel coil prices have reached rock bottom and will increase in new contracts, sources tell Kallanish. Mills in Europe are pushing prices up by some €50/tonne ($54) for hot and cold rolled coil for September delivery and plan a second step of increases for October delivery.

All steelmakers plan to idle their facilities for longer than usual this year due to poor sales and overcapacity. Because of the stoppages, deliveries of agreed contracts are being delayed.

European stainless flat steel market sentiment is now changing. Some northern European service centres have noticed a demand surge in July, with the return of apparent demand and restocking. This follows a long period of sluggish sales for HRC and its derivatives.

At present, stainless CRC in northern Europe is at €2,230-2,280/t delivered on average and HRC at about €2,100-2,130/t delivered. Scrap prices in Europe have also recovered this month by around €50/t, due also to extreme shortages, after prices reached unsustainable levels in June.

Natalia Capra France