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ArcelorMittal continues price rally

ArcelorMittal has raised hot-rolled coil prices by Eur50/mt to Eur650/mt EXW Ruhr on the spot market with immediate effect, sources told S&P Global Platts December 4th.

The move is the latest in a number of price hikes since late summer, increasing steel coil prices by almost Eur200/mt in a period of less than six months.

Prices for the Italian market have been raised to the same level on a delivered basis, Platts understands, and are set for April delivery. The Dec. 3 index for HRC EXW Ruhr stood at Eur570.50/mt. Sources said Dec. 4 that spot market levels were around Eur600/mt EXW Ruhr as lower priced possibilities have dried up.

Prices for hot-dip galvanized sheet have been raised to Eur750/mt EXW Ruhr for DX51D grade.

The European coils market is experiencing temporary supply issues ranging from a lack of slabs at European mills to coil shortages from mills to customers while stockholders struggle to secure any material to build up stock.

Demand has outpaced supply as European mills struggled to ramp up fast enough following shutdowns earlier this year. Although there will be more capacity coming online in Q1 next year as mills are further ramping up, market participants expect the supply shortage to last at least into Q2 next year.

The shortage is currently supported by a lack of import material but an Italian re-roller was heard to have booked HRC at USD720/mt FOB Egypt to secure volumes.

Most mills are currently out of the spot market, having filled Q1 order books and are now starting to offer into Q2.

“What I can see is that price is reflecting material – there is no material around,” said a trader.Another trader said that mills are on and off the market, changing prices daily while securing any bigger sixed volume is a struggle.

“Daily announcements like that are fueling the sentiment and overheating, it’s not healthy,” said a German stockholder, adding that he would be shying away from buying beyond April as the question remains how long the price rally is going to last.

News item brought to you by S&P Global Platts
Image courtesy of Chris Liverani

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