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Kallanish Kallanish

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July, 11th 2020

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MAY 26
11:27

European stainless market prices decline amidst low demand

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The European market for stainless flat and tubes products is facing extremely low demand, re-rollers and service centres tell Kallanish. In some countries, such as Italy and France, the market has not picked up despite the end of the lockdown and the lack of invoicing having left the distribution sector financially fragile. This follows a major bout of distribution destocking which has lasted for several months from the second half of 2019 and a slight real demand pick up in the first quarter of 2020.

Shipping of material is extremely low in France and Germany with these considered to be the quietest countries in Europe. Demand in Italy for flat products and tubes is slightly better than in France and Germany but sources at re-rollers and steel mills agree that there is more shipping than new orders being placed. Holland, along with Poland and other Central European countries, are driving stainless product demand. Re-rolled flat product sales are considered to be very low while sales of stainless tube have fallen by -40% compared to pre lockdown levels, sources say.

As an effect of the lockdown, distributors and service centres have high stocks. Mills are hoping for a resumption of activity in Europe by mid-June while both flats and tubes prices are forecast to continue to decline this quarter, Kallanish hears.

This month prices for domestic hot rolled coil remain low at €1,700/tonne ($1,863/t) delivered on average while cold rolled coil prices from European mills are at €1,85-1,8700/t delivered.