Despite low steel demand iron ore relative costs to metallurgical coal in European steel making have exceeded the last peak in July 2019 according to SampP Global Platts analysis.
Iron ore prices in Europe have seen support from contracts linked to Chinas import spot fines prices which have surged to 118dry mt CFR China this week even with lower contract pellet and lump premiums.
This left a spread of almost 118mt in favor of iron ore and a pig iron cost of around 238 50mt.
In July 2019 while the basket of iron ore prices to produce a ton of pig iron was higher at 209dmt CFR Rotterdam the spread with met coal was 115 50mt.
Pig iron costs exceeded 300mt a year ago while steel prices were higher and stronger capacity utilization in Europe kept overall costs down.
Platts estimated European HRC steel mill spread with raw materials in July continued to track close to the 2020 low seen in June.
Regional mills are searching for lower iron ore prices and higher steel prices to move back into firmer operating metrics.
Regional mills are searching for lower iron ore prices and higher steel prices to move back into firmer operating metrics Austrian steel group Voestalpine on Aug 5 noted high Chinese steel production during the first half of the year while other economies were cutting.
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