In August, prices for hot rolled coils in Western Europe increased, which was facilitated by the high cost of raw materials and the lack of competitiveness of import offers.
European steelmakers continue to operate at low capacity utilization due to production cuts that have occurred in the past few months. The average delivery time for custom steel from a factory in the EU is approximately eight weeks.
Analysts note the growing shortage of rolled metal in Belgium. At the same time, local steel centers note that further recovery in market demand will be required to sustain the recent price increases.
Most UK distributors report good July sales. As in Germany, the construction industry in the UK is currently one of the sectors with the highest consumption of steel. Hot rolled coil traders claim that import offers from suppliers in Italy and Turkey are too expensive.
Delivery times for steel products in Italy are increasing as steel production remains low. There is a lack of purchases in large volumes. However, buyers expect the upward trend in prices to continue in the near future. The base cost of hot rolled coil in Spain increased with delivery in September-October, and local producers now plan to raise prices in November.
Flat steel prices were either stable or slightly increased until early August in most of Western Europe. Market stocks have returned to manageable levels and sheet metal producers are unable to cover the additional costs associated with the supply of raw materials and steel slabs.
The market for cold-rolled coils looks weaker than their hot-rolled and hot-dip galvanized counterparts. However, the rise in raw material prices should boost this product in the near future.
Prices for hot-dip galvanized coils have increased this month. Demand from automakers and automotive subcontractors is gradually recovering, thanks in part to government support packages.