Italian producers and service centres are increasing hot rolled coil and sheet prices, in line with the latest ArcelorMittal coil hikes for Europe.

The increases are mainly driven by peaking energy costs and procurement difficulties that are forcing some mills to extend August maintenance stoppages.

A large steelmaker is said to have increased its HRC offers by €100/tonne ($100.3) compared to August, while others are still mulling increases. However, sources confirm there is no rush to buy coils this week and the Italian market remains quiet.

Import prices for HRC from Asian countries remain at below €700/t cfr Italy, a source opines, adding that domestic contract prices have dropped to an average of €720-750/t base ex-works, from €770-780/t in early August. Producers are aiming to sell coils in September at €800-820/t base ex-works. One producer is pushing prices to €800/t base ex-works with a discount for larger volumes.

Some service centres are increasing their prices by €30-50/t, but confirm to Kallanish that there are no enquiries and end-users are adopting a wait-and-see attitude.

Meanwhile, cold rolled coil and hot-dipped galvanised coil prices have also decreased in August on low demand to €800-870/t base ex-works. Some demand is expected to return to the Italian market next week.

In Spain, meanwhile, ArcelorMittal has decided not to resume production at its Acería Compacta de Bizkaia (ACB) hot strip mill in Sestao this week due to weak demand forecasts (see separate story).