Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

Scrap prices in Detroit, Carolinas and Alabama have settled lower for March delivery according to SMU sources. Detroit ferrous scrap prices were reported to be down $20 per gross ton while the Carolinas were down $15-$20 and Alabama down $15 per gross ton.

The main issue continues to be the lack of a firm scrap export market to Turkey. The result being an overabundance of ferrous scrap which cannot be exported so it makes it way into the domestic markets on the east coast and west.

East coast scrap prices were reported to SMU as being $365-$370 per gross ton for shredded scrap. Heavy melt is at $330 and plate & structural (P&S) is reported to be selling for $350 for March delivery. Export grade heavy melt is reported to be around $295-$305 per gross ton.

In the Ohio Valley shredded prices are running $20 to $30 per gross ton higher than on the east coast. Our sources have shred at $390-$395 with some deals being done at $400 per gross ton. Busheling is running about $10 per gross ton higher than shred. Heavy melt and P&S are reported to be mostly sideways in the Ohio Valley.

Improvement is not expected for another month of two. We will continue to gather information and have more on scrap prices over the weekend.

Politics can get in the way of the steel industry and as we watch the events in the Ukraine unfold we need to be cognizant that Russia owns a number of steel mills and assets in the United States. Russia supplies slabs to the domestic steel industry and hot rolled to various trading companies and service centers. At the same time, there are a number of companies in the United States who export fabricated steel products to Russia. One example that comes to mind are grain bins and other agriculture related products. We are watching events as they unfold carefully and we will have an article on the Russia, Ukraine, USA and Europe commitments connected with the removal of nuclear warheads from Ukraine that are complicating things for the U.S.

Just for your information – Steel 101 is already half full for those who are interested in attending our program in Dearborn. You can learn more in the Events section of our website or by contacting our office: 800-432-3475.

I want to welcome our newest free trials and new members. Thank you for taking the time to try (and to become our newest customers). We encourage you to interact with our company. Asking questions and making suggestions on how we can improve our product (or articles that might be of interest to our readers) are always appreciated.

The recent article we did on Millennials received a number of positive comments. We will continue to mix up our coverage of the industry and provide educational materials whenever possible.

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

John Packard, Publisher


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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.