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Hot-rolled coil prices rise
Hot-rolled coil prices rise

29. August 2022 – Hot-rolled coil (HRC) prices have increased in recent days. Market sources report HRC price increases of up to 14%. Stainless steel smelter in Belgium remains closed. German natural gas storage facilities more than 80% full. And European Safeguard absurdities.

Hot-rolled coil prices rise

Market sources report that ArcelorMittal has raised European hot-rolled coil offers for October by more than 14%. A further increase is expected from the producer in November.

But hot-rolled coil price increases are also reported elsewhere in the European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom. Most recently, several major steel producers in the United States had announced price increases for HRC.

Hot-rolled coil spot prices in China have increased by more than 11% since mid-July to 26 August.

European stainless steel smelter remains offline

The stainless steel smelter in Genk, Belgium, belonging to the Aperam Group, remains offline, which is likely to have an impact on availability in Europe. One of the main reasons seems to be political, as the measure is apparently intended to pressure the Belgian state, but also the European Union, to make further concessions regarding energy costs.

German gas storage facilities already well filled

As reported by the German Federal Ministry of Economics, the gas storage facilities in Germany are already much better filled than originally expected. With fill levels of almost 83%, they are clearly above the average value of the past 5 years.

Share of Russian gas falls to 9%

The origin of the natural gas has also changed drastically. While it was still around 53% of Russian origin in 2019, the dependence on Russia could be reduced to 10% in July 2022. In August, it is even expected to be reduced further to around 9%.

Good news for German industry

Good news and more planning security for German industry, which had recently been worried about a possibly insufficient gas supply during the winter months. If gas consumption develops as expected, the gas storage facilities should still be filled to about 40% in February 2023.

EU Safeguard: Absurdities from Brussels when things are not thought through to the end

If the burden of Safeguard were not already high enough, British steel producers and traders are now facing further hurdles – and at home.

Due to a Brexit regulation, 25% EU Safeguard duties must now be levied on certain British steel products delivered to Northern Ireland. At the same time, however, steel with EU Safeguard origin can still be exported freely to Northern Ireland. This has already caused some discord in the UK.

Another stylistic blossom of Brussels absurdities that result solely from the fact that things are often simply not thought through to the end.

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