UNITED KINGDOM March 21 2014 9:48 AM
LONDON (Scrap Register): North European and South European spot HRC steel prices remained week in February this year, as per The Steel Index.
According to TSI, North European HR coil spot prices softened in February, as steel producers failed to achieve the €20-30/ton increases they were targeting.
Transactions in North-West Europe ranged between €450-460/t in the first week but fell €5/t to €445-455/t and stabilised at this level for the rest of the month. European steel producers were hard-pressed in their quest to raise spot HR coil prices with buyers pushing back, citing weak end-user demand affecting their ability to pass on price rises.
South European HR coil spot prices fell by a similar amount, with sluggish demand placing downward pressure in Italian and Spanish markets. Trading was especially sparse in the final few days of the month as spot prices slipped to €430/t. Offer prices from a major Italian producer were said to be in the €440/t region, but this was negotiable according to several buyers.
EU-28 crude steel output rose +7.3% year-on-year in January, as Spain and Italy both posted double-digit increases. Italian production surged +28% y-o-y to 2.25 million tons, the highest since May 2013. Output in Spain climbed +11% y-o-y to 1.1 million tons. Germany registered a small increase of +2.2% y-o-y whilst production in France was flat over the same period.
Eurozone manufacturing continued its expansion for the eighth consecutive month, with Markit’s PMI recording 53.2 in February - this indicates growth, albeit at a declining rate compared to January’s 54.0.