Flat product prices for steel in Europe raised rapidly in April despite the obstacles of trade defence measures and output curbs. There was a more significant lack of any attractive imported material from countries like Brazil, China, India, Iran. Europe Mills have been able push the price of goods up. A controversial move that resulted in push back from buyers initially but has since been accepted due to the limitations in options.
The competitiveness of oversea suppliers has seen a serious decline due to the new obstacles, for instance any steel from overseas would not be received in European ports until late Autumn at the earliest. European suppliers are pushing for additional rises in the second quarter and third trimester.
Germany had very limited offers from 3rd country sources in April. Buyers were dependent on EU suppliers for their basic needs. However, consumers are critical of the reports about demands, stating that they do not believe the mills reports of underlying demands for steel. Reports suggest that the levels are close to those in 2015. Centre stocks are low but distributors are ordering usual quantities.
France has also seen prices climb, distributors have been waiting for prices to fall, as a result the stocks have been low and now the recent demand in purchases have resulted in a need to restock inventories. The end user activities are showing that they are continually increasing year on year.
Italian prices have also strengthened due to a lack of imports. The movement of demand has moved rapidly due to the changes in the market. New imports from the Chinese market have stopped entirely, providing support and relief for local suppliers, though there is still left over stocks from earlier in the year. Korean stock from the South continues to be imported directly from manufacturers. Stockholders are however, only ordering minimum quantities.