Steel Products

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

A quick note to remind our readers that our first Steel 101: Introduction to Steelmaking & Market Fundamentals workshop of the New Year will be held in Columbus, Mississippi and will include a tour of the Severstal Columbus mini-mill. We highly recommend our program for anyone who is new to the industry, executives who are changing positions or who are looking for an independent refresher course, sales and purchasing support staff, quality assurance departments, operations and individuals and companies who work with steel mills, trading companies, service centers or manufacturing companies who are heavily involved in the steel industry. Our instructors are second to none. We cover both long and flat products. You can learn more about our program and how to register on our website: or you can contact us in our office: 800-432-3475 or We look forward to seeing you in Mississippi in late February.

We had a good turnout for this past week’s steel survey with 44 percent of the respondents’ manufacturers, 40 percent service centers with 5 percent each trading companies, mills and toll processors and 1 percent suppliers to the industry. This provides us a well-balanced look, in our opinion, into the flat rolled steel industry.

We aren’t able to cover all of the results in our newsletter and we are looking for new and better ways of compiling and presenting the data in the future. Those who take the survey have the option to access a Power Point presentation which provides much more data, and in a different format, than what we present in our newsletter. If you are interested in being added to our invitee list and are an active buyer or seller of steel you can contact me at: to see what is required in order to be added.

During the survey process we found out from the steel mills who responded to the survey that the current order flows were either “normal” (71 percent) or “lower than normal” (29 percent). The steel mill respondents were split on the future direction of steel prices with 57 percent of the opinion prices would move higher from here and 43 percent believing prices would remain the same over the next 30 days.

Trading companies were very comfortable that prices being quoted were at levels where business could be transacted. Of those trading companies responding in last week’s survey 83 percent believed business could be done at the levels being quoted. Even so, 40 percent of the trading companies did report prices as moving higher over the next 30 days.

Moving away from our survey – SMU did some research of our own between Christmas and the New Year holiday with ultra light gauge galvanized buyers – specifically with .012” G30 galvanized buyers from around the U.S.A. We found prices out of India, China and Mexico delivered into the United States were in the very low $40’s.

Our survey results did pick up some weakness in pricing. We will publish new pricing on Tuesday evening. Our new pricing will be based on a combination of the survey results combined with channel checks from our sources on Monday and Tuesday. At this moment our SMU Price Momentum Indicator continues to be Neutral.

As always your business is truly appreciated.

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