Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

Based on local news reports as well as information from Steel Market Update flat rolled sheet sources, the blast furnace issue at AK Steel Ashland was due to a break out at the bottom of the vessel. A break out is when molten pig iron penetrates the outer wall of the blast furnace. Since the crack(s) are reported to be at the bottom of Amanda (the name of the AK Ashland blast furnace) repairs are not easy and are expected that they will take a few weeks to complete.

On Monday we will begin our early March steel market survey. Invitations should go out around 8 AM ET. If you receive an invitation please take a few minutes, click on the link contained in the invitation and complete the survey.

We continue to gather information regarding our Fall 2014 Steel Summit. We have been thinking of making major modifications (length, content, location, dates, etc.) and we would truly appreciate your feedback. Here is a LINK to the survey which consist of 5 questions.

This is the kind of feedback we are looking for (if you would like to send me a direct email), “Please, please, please, don’t have any speakers talk about their own company in any way, not to discuss their approach to people, their approach to hedging, etc., etc.  I’ve never seen/heard anyone do this in a way that wasn’t self serving and boring, sometimes mind numbingly so.  Public companies can’t say much about their companies that isn’t already on their web sites and press releases and private companies love themselves too much.”

As I mentioned in Thursday night’s issue of SMU – I was impressed with the program and quality of the speakers at the FMA Toll Processors Conference. They had a nice mix of economic forecasts, educational programs and entertainment. I am thinking of reducing the exposure to steel mills and other companies who, as the person who made the comment above said, are self-serving and don’t add any value to the group. So, your comments do make a difference.

If you would like to send something directly to me you can do so at,

As always your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update.

John Packard, Publisher

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Latest in Final Thoughts

Final thoughts

Last week was a newsy one for the US sheet market. Nucor’s announcement that it would publish a weekly HR spot price was the talk of the town – whether that was in chatter among colleagues, at the Boy Scouts of America Metals Industry dinner, or in SMU’s latest market survey. Some think that it could Nucor's spot HR price could bring stability to notoriously volatile US sheet prices, according to SMU's latest steel market survey. Others think it’s too early to gauge its impact. And still others said they were leery of any attempt by producers to control prices.