Steel Mills

Steel Dynamics CEO Says Pricing is Being Driven by Demand

Written by John Packard

Mark Millet, CEO of Steel Dynamics told those listening to the SDI earnings conference call that second half 2013 sheet pricing appreciation was assisted by raw material pricing (higher scrap prices) and some supply disruptions. However, the “…underlying appreciation was driven by demand.”

He went on to state that “…it’s a little difficult to determine the current market direction [SMU Price Momentum Indicator is at Neutral at this time]…Some would say that it’s turned slightly. But given the way the holidays fell, given the incredible bad weather, I think the markets are only just getting back to work really. And it’s hard to say whether or not there is a material change in direction. As I said earlier, though, the overall sentiment, certainly market sentiment certainly doesn’t correlate with what we have on our radar screen…”

The SDI CEO went on to point on various market segments which are experiencing growth. This included shale gas, automotive, energy markets (contingent on a reasonable level of imports), residential construction where Mr. Millet spoke specifically about garage door, HVAC and studs as “materializing in our backlog.” Millet also is seeing growth in non-residential construction where, “…we see continued steady growth in our beam backlog” as well as in their joist business. He also pointed to strength in Class A trucks which was affirmed by commentary made by Cummins in Canada on Monday.

Mr. Millet also pointed out the domestic steel market has improved from a capacity standpoint with RG Steel having impacted the market by at least 1 million tons which has come out of the market and over the past few years about three to four million tons.

“If you look at the negativity and the volatility of Wall Street here the last week or two, we certainly don’t see it in our business and in our order book. And moving forward, we are and will remain very, very, very optimistic….”

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