Sixty-three Percent of SMU Survey Respondents on Pace to Achieve August Forecast
Steel Market Update (SMU) conducted our second steel market survey for the month of August this past week. The survey began on Monday, August 16th and concluded on Thursday, August 19th. SMU invited 736 companies to participate in our survey. The two largest groups invited were end-users (manufacturing companies) and service centers.
SMU asked our survey respondents if their company was on pace to meet forecast (business projections) for the month of August. Sixty three percent of the companies responding reported their company as being on pace to meet or exceed projections. Thirty-seven percent reported their company as being behind and potentially failing to meet forecast for the month of August.
May/June/July End of Month Results
SMU has been asking this same question for a number of months now. Thirty-four percent of those surveyed at the end of May reported their company did not meet forecast. At the end of June thirty-one percent of the companies responding to our survey reported failing to meet forecast for the month. This past month, at the end of July those failing to meet forecast had jumped to forty-two percent.
What Respondents are Saying
“For the third straight month we have seen orders just about stopped. August has seen some uptick but nothing in the magnitude to get excited about.” (end user-manufacturer)
“Our customers are coming off a terrible June/July due to weather. Hottest & wettest months in recent history in Southeast. Hoping this has created some pent up demand.” (Trading Company)
A manufacturing company involved in the construction markets had similar insights as the trading company above, “It has really been a yo-yo due to delays in the field because of the odd weather we have been having this summer.”
A service center located in the Midwest with limited construction exposure gave us these comments, “Several industries have exploded. And some of the unexpected also had a flurry of activity. There has also been some incremental business contemporaneous with Mill price announcements to try and beat the market-but that has only been a small portion. I do expect things to level off this week, and will probably have a better feeling in a few days if we level out, or recede.”
Not all the news is bad. A specialty pipe and tube manufacturer on the West Coast told us August, “will be our best month in 2 years really strong, not like before recession, but strong right now.”
While a service center reported, “Even with all the negative talk, our business has been "pretty damn good".
SMU has posted a portion of the survey results in a Power Point presentation in the Media Center section of our website (once there click on the "view gallery" next to Files).
If you are interested in the flat rolled steel markets in North America you may wish to register for a 4-week free trial to our SMU newsletter. You can do so online at www.steelmarketupdate.com and click on the "free trial" logo.