The European and US steel and stainless steel market is currently going completely crazy.

Stainless steel market goes crazy: Delivery times and prices continue to rise
Stainless steel market goes crazy: Delivery times and prices continue to rise

Long delivery times in the EU

In the EU, purchasers continue to face extremely long delivery times on the steel market. Steel producer Aperam currently reports delivery times for July 2021 at the earliest.

EU steel mills not supplying Italy again until June

In Italy, steel buyers report that they will not be supplied with new material from EU steel mills again until June at the earliest. Another bitter blow is likely to be the court order to ArcelorMittal Italia to shut down the Taranto hot zone within 60 days.

Mini-mills short of power: United States drowning in winter

The U.S. is caught in the middle of a massive winter mess. Some regions are completely cut off from electricity, which poses particular challenges for mini-mills. In addition, HRC prices have risen significantly. For February contracts, they currently stand at $1.205 per short ton. This naturally makes US steel buyers vigilant.

Calls for the end of Safeguard are growing louder in the EU

Meanwhile, calls are growing from European steel processors for an end to EU Safeguard measures. Many producers and consumers can no longer obtain the material they need to maintain production on the European domestic steel market. And importing from non-EU countries is almost impossible due to tariffs and anti-dumping measures.

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The steel market in summary:

  • Aperam at lead times from new production in July 2021, according to market sources
  • EU steel mills delivery times for Italy at least in June
  • ArcelorMittal Italia court ordered to shut down hot area of Taranto within 60 days
  • European stainless steel mills to offer only on base price plus alloy surcharge, according to steel market observers
  • Calls for an end to Safeguard in the EU are getting louder and louder
  • US HRC contracts on LME with large increases for April and July 2021
  • February contracts at $1.205/st
  • US steel buyers wary of production problems amid winter storms

Most steel mills have closed their order books for April

Spot prices in the physical steel market continued to rally amid firm market conditions, while supply remained very tight as most mills kept their order books closed for April. With limited domestic availability expected to continue into the second quarter, import offers attracted greater interest and several purchasers booked tons of Turkish origin for second quarter arrival.


ArcelorMittal Italia ordered to shut down hot section in Taranto within 60 days

The Regional Administrative Court (TAR) of Lecce, Italy, has ordered the closure of the “hot area” at ArcelorMittal Italia’s Taranto plant. This must be done within 60 days, according to the ruling. The decision was made to prevent emissions from the equipment and protect the health of local residents. ArcelorMittal, the plant’s operator, has announced an immediate appeal to the Italian Council of State. The hot area includes the plant’s blast furnaces, mineral storage areas, coke plant, steel mill, steel materials management area and agglomeration area.


European hot-rolled coils: Strong domestic prices amid tight supplies

Domestic prices for hot-rolled coil in Northern Europe rose Tuesday, Feb. 16, from the previous day, driven by overall material shortages. In addition to Fastmarkets, other steel market participants are reporting an increasingly serious problem.


U.S. steel buyers wary of production problems amid winter storms

U.S. steel buyers kept a close eye on possible supply disruptions Feb. 16, when winter storms and cold temperatures caused power outages and transportation problems in the central U.S. and Texas.

Several service center sources told S&P Global Platts they were hearing about problems among mini-mill producers in ensuring reliable power supplies as parts of the country imposed rolling blackouts amid record cold temperatures and high demand.


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