EU steel prices rise due to lead times and capacity issues, and stainless steel mills in China raise prices too.
- In Europe, the price spiral continues upwards. As S&P Global Platts currently reports. In the process, European producers sought higher prices for sales that lagged spot prices. And ever-expanding EU lead times and exhausted capacity are taking a weighty factor in prices.
- China’s leading stainless steel mills, Taiyuan Iron & Steel (Tisco), Tsingshan Group and Baosteel, have all raised their tender prices for high carbon ferrochrome for March delivery by $108 per tonne from the previous month. This is notified by metalbulletin.com.
Europe HRC steel-to-crude spread rises due to steel prices
The spread between hot-rolled coil steel and raw material prices in Europe reached a multi-year high in February, as rising spot steel prices continued to outpace iron ore and scrap costs.
Northwest European HRC steel more expensive in February 2021
Northwest European HRC steel cost an average of just under Eur420/mt ($508/mt) more than commodities in February, according to March 1 estimates from S&P Global Platts, up from around Eur398/mt in January.
Spreads as high as Eur450/mt possible into second half?
Higher steel prices have carried the spread steadily upward from a low of Eur193/mt last June, according to Platts estimates.
Forward spreads appeared well supported into the second half of 2021 in the Eur300-450/mt range, based on European HRC and Asia-Pacific commodity derivatives, using estimates from Platts on Feb. 26 and data from CME Group on Feb. 28.
Highest HRC commodity spread in February since April 2016.
The Eur420/mt HRC commodity spread in February was the highest since at least April 2016 – when spreads were first tracked by Platts.
Regional steel mills drive up steel margins
In Europe, a further increase in HRC spot prices in February drove up indicative steel margins, with regional steel mills keen to achieve higher prices for sales that lagged spot prices.
Lead times lengthen, capacity exhausted
Steel mills continued to raise price bids for orders as lead times lengthened and capacity was exhausted. HRC ex-works Ruhr reached Eur735/mt on February 26, up 2.65% from January 29.
Major Chinese stainless steel mills raise March ferrochrome tenders by $108/mt
China’s leading stainless steel producers, Taiyuan Iron & Steel (Tisco), Tsingshan Group, and Baosteel, have all increased their tender prices for high-carbon ferrochrome for March delivery by 700 yuan ($108) per tonne from the previous month.
Latest stainless steel bids up to 9% more expensive, month-on-month
The latest bids from Tisco, Tsingshan, and Baosteel are 8,700 yuan per ton, 8,896 yuan per ton, and 8,900 yuan per ton, respectively, up nearly 9% from February’s bids, when they all raised their bids by 2,200 yuan per ton from January.
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