US and European mills mull hike in flat prices soaked in diffidence

Riding a self-inflated crest EU and US mills are mulling hike of USD 40-50 per tonne shortly. US and European economies have not shown perceptible change in fundamentals other than occasional glimmers which soon fade out before the eye blinks.

However some slow but solacing improvement in industrial production and PMI indicators in hitherto beleaguered Greek and Spanish economies have kindled shred of hope. At the same time German industry remains slow but stable.

US economy has been fluctuating between revival and dormancy although on course to recovery has kindled demand in auto and gas sector. Unemployment remains a concern area with the figure rising to 7.3% in October from 7.2% in September. Remarkably 202000 jobs were added from August to October a significant climb from 146000 added from May-July. Despite some encouraging sign the economic scenario remains wobbly with market plummeting and bond yields going on anticipated winding up of stimulus sooner rather than later.

In the backdrop of sketchy economic counter mills have been pegging their stakes on production cut down Europe and China likely to spruce up the price levels. Chinese mills have been holding on to export levels off late thereby prompting EU mills to postpone any reduction plans.

Regardless of this imaginative optimism market has got nothing to rejoice. CIS mills are more objective maintaining the price levels for December booking unchanged. Tier 1 Ukrainian mills are offering HRC for December booking at USD 530-535 per tonne FOB Black Sea. CRC is quoted at USD 595-600 per tonne FOB Black Sea. However, discount of USD 5-10 per tonne is not ruled out if response is not forthcoming at current levels.

Standing on fragile edifice which is more created rather than real failure to evoke interest is writ large.