Intra-European prices for hot-rolled steel strip rose significantly again in the week of March 15-19, 2021. This is reported by relevant industry media. Prices are driven by strong demand and general material shortages in the EU. In addition, the first lead times for steel in December 2021 are reported.
Steel availability on the EU market extremely limited
Steel availability is extremely limited in the European market, market sources report. Domestic mills cannot keep up with the prevailing demand.
Currently, most European steelmakers are not offering coils on the market. They are expected to return to the market only at the end of the month.
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First lead times for some steel grades are in December
According to various sources, EU mills are currently delaying the delivery of orders by up to six weeks. The first coil orders are currently not even expected before December.
Purchasers are forced to take what is left at all
Due to material shortages and the long lead times, purchasers are currently forced to buy whatever material is available. It is also not expected that it will be possible to build up stocks.
“You can’t buy a single ton,” one purchaser told agmetalminer.com.
Existing market protection measures hamper procurement
Existing EU market protection measures, such as safeguards and anti-dumping, make it difficult, if not impossible, to bring material from outside the EU into Europe.
Furthermore, rising raw material prices, a lack of ferrous scrap and production cutbacks in Western European plants are described as price drivers. The long lead times for steel are doing the rest on the EU market.
Alloy surcharges are increased
The first stainless steel producers, e.g. the Finnish group Outokumpu, have already published alloy surcharges for April 2021. And significantly increased the surcharge for some grades, such as the 430/1.406. We already had a look at the topic of alloy surcharges a few days ago.
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