SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index Improves
Buyers and sellers of flat rolled steel are slightly more optimistic about their company’s chances of being successful in the current economic environment according to our most recent steel survey result. The Steel Market Update (SMU) Steel Buyers Sentiment Index was reported today to have improved by 6 points to +24. Even though it is the second lowest number posted during calendar year 2012 to date the reading continues to indicate steel buyers and sellers are optimistic and have been for 19 straight months.
The +24 is 25 points below the +49 measured in the middle of January 2012 which was the highest level we have seen since we began measuring Sentiment in November 2008.
Those participating in this week’s steel survey from which our SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index is derived provided us some insights having left the following comments during the survey process:
“I’m really worried about the construction market, I don't see it getting better anytime soon.”
“Activity has slowed over the last 30-45 days.”
“Business has slowed for both domestic and International, but outlook over the next few months should tic up.”
Future Sentiment at +36 – Up from +30
Steel buyers and sellers also feel slightly more optimistic about their company’s ability to be successful 3-6 months from today. Our Future portion of the SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index registered a +36 up from +30 measured during the beginning of June. This is the second lowest reading for our Future Sentiment Index so far this year. The highest reading for both this year and the history of our index was the +63 measured during the middle of January 2012. The lowest reading was -40 measured in mid-January 2009.
Future Sentiment has been in “optimistic” territory for 31 straight months.
About the SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index
SMU Buyers Sentiment Index is a measurement of the current attitude of buyers and sellers of flat rolled steel products in North America regarding how they feel about their company's opportunity for growth in today's market. It is a proprietary product developed by Steel Market Update for the North American steel industry.
Positive readings will run from + 10% to + 100% and the arrow will point to the right hand side of the meter located on the Home Page of our website indicating a positive or optimistic sentiment.
Negative readings will run from -10% to -100% and the arrow will point to the left hand side of the meter on our website indicating negative or pessimistic sentiment.
A reading of “0” (+/- 10%) indicates a neutral sentiment (or slightly optimistic or pessimistic) which is most likely an indicator of a shift occurring in the marketplace.
Readings are developed through Steel Market Update market surveys which are conducted twice per month. We display the index reading on a meter on the Home Page of our website for all to enjoy.
Currently we send invitations to over 700 North American companies to participate in our survey. Our normal response rate is approximately 150-200 companies. Of those responding approximately 48% are manufacturing companies, 49% are service centers/distributors and the balance is made up of steel mills, trading companies and toll processors involved in the steel business.
Steel Market Update does canvass those being invited to participate in order to confirm their active participation in the flat rolled steel business. Our list is updated at least once per month and we are adding new companies on a continuous basis.