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Italian stainless coil orders pick up

Italian stainless steel coil prices are increasing after values reached rock bottom in July. European producers are hiking by approximately €100/tonne ($109) and contracted prices are seen rising accordingly in September for hot and cold rolled coil for October delivery, sources tell Kallanish.

Much of the market is now on holiday in Italy and in other European countries. Italian mills’ order intake improved in July and the first days of August. This follows a long period of quiet activity and contracting orders. Local service centres have bought some volumes for July, August and September delivery, while some deliveries are being delayed due to the August production stoppages.

At present, asking prices for October-delivery stainless CRC in Italy are at €2,300-2,350/t delivered on average, and some €150/t less for HRC. CRC with trimmed edges is transacting at about €2,200/t delivered, with HRC at about €2,000-2,050/t delivered, sources suggest.

Two Italian buyers say prices will have to increase for coils and derivatives in September but volumes will remain limited. Service centres’ clients are reported to have some work, but their activity remains low. Purchases in September should surge for October deliveries, owing to market seasonality. At present, however, distributors are reporting a low level of orders and a continuing wait-and-see attitude.

Natalia Capra France