Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


SMU received a note from a Severstal spokesperson that both their Columbus, MS and Dearborn, MI facilities have planned maintenance in each facility during the month of November. The Dearborn facility will have work performed on their hot strip mill (HSM) while the Columbus facility is having work done on one of their two EAF’s and a caster.  All of the work has been planned and should not impact any of their customer orders.

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Latest in Final Thoughts

Final thoughts

I’ve had discussions with some of you lately about where and when sheet prices might bottom. Some of you say that hot-rolled (HR) coil prices won’t fall below $800 per short ton (st). Others tell me that bigger buyers aren’t interested unless they can get something that starts with a six. Obviously a lot depends on whether we're talking 50 tons or 50,000 tons. I've even gotten some guff about how the drop in US prices is happening only because we’re talking about it happening.

Final thoughts

We’ve all heard a lot about mill “discipline” following a wave of consolidation over the last few years. That discipline is often evident when prices are rising, less so when they are falling. I remember hearing earlier this year that mills weren’t going to let hot-rolled (HR) coil prices fall below $1,000 per short ton (st). Then not below $900/st. Now, some of you tell me that HR prices in the mid/high-$800s are the “1-800 price” – widely available to regular spot buyers. So what comes next, and will mills “hold the line” in the $800s?