Steel Products

SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index at +38

Written by John Packard

Written by: John Packard

Steel Market Update (SMU) Steel Buyers Sentiment Index was measured at +38 based on the results of our mid-August review of the flat rolled steel market.  Sentiment continues to be at the peak of optimism displayed during calendar year 2013.  Buyers and sellers of flat rolled steel continue to respond in a positive fashion to the increase in mill spot pricing.  The industry is

also responding to a “decent” if not overwhelming order books as certain industries such as auto continue to grow their business and others like agriculture anticipate growth in their future.

However, even with steel prices moving higher at a steady pace since late May when U.S. Steel made the first price increase announcement, we still have a drag on optimism from the construction and mining segments of the steel economy. Growth has been tempered and buyers and sellers of steel are being cautious not to be too optimistic about their company’s ability to be successful in both the current and future (3-6 months out into the future) markets.

The +38 measured this week is one point higher than the reading accomplished in the middle of July and is the highest reading since the middle of March 2012. The highest reading ever recorded was the +49 measured during the middle of January 2012.  The lowest reading ever recorded was -85 during the first week of March 2009. Steel Market Update began measuring Sentiment in November 2008 when we first recorded a -69 during the first week of the month.

SMU Future Sentiment Index at +49

SMU Future Steel Buyers Sentiment Index rose to +49 which is +3 points from our mid-July reading and continues to be solidly in the optimistic range of our index. The +49 is slightly below the +53 measured at the beginning of July.  This weeks Future Sentiment Index is the highest recorded during the month of August since we first began measuring Sentiment in November 2008.

 About the SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index

SMU Steel 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 success 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 slightly less than 660 North American companies to participate in our survey. Our normal response rate is approximately 120-170 companies. Of those responding to this week’s survey 49 percent were manufacturing companies, 41 percent were service centers/distributors and the balance was made up of steel mills, trading companies, toll processors and suppliers to the industry (such as paint companies).

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.

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