Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day – it is also the beginning of the Steel Market Update flat rolled steel market analysis for mid-March. Invitations should be out around 8 AM ET. If you receive one please take a few minutes to click on the link contained in the email and respond to our questionnaire.

 John Temples will be at the SBB/Platts North American Scrap and Steel Conference this week in Chicago as I travel to Orlando to speak to the Association of Steel Distributors. Next week I will be traveling to Toronto to speak to the Toronto Steel Buyers and Associates dinner on March 26th (please send warm weather to Toronto).

A note that we still have openings in our next Steel 101 workshop at The Henry Hotel (named after Henry Ford) in Dearborn, Michigan. The workshop will include a tour of the fully integrated Severstal Dearborn steel mill. The program and registration are available on our website or you can contact our offices for more information: 800-432-3475.

I have been asked my opinion on whether or not the domestic steel prices have halted their slide and if they will rise from here. I have asked those questions in this week’s survey and I don’t want to push the responses one way or another. But, I will address the issue as the week progresses.

Is there a chance the domestic mills may announce a price increase – maybe as early as this week? Prices are down $65 per ton from the peak (more if you count what the domestic mills last price increases were calling for – hot rolled base prices in excess of $700 per ton). AK Steel has nothing to lose – they essentially aren’t in the spot market so it wouldn’t take much for AK to lead the way. However, I think the mills will want the increase to stick if any when they do announce one. So, the real question is are mill order books strong enough to support a buyers strike should buyers decide the increases are not yet warranted?

If you are not taking our survey and would like to throw in some comments on the subject please send me an email:

While I am collecting opinions I have another question for those of you who are interested in attending our Fall 2014 Steel Summit Conference. I have held preliminary talks with a group who specializes in non-ferrous metals. There is a chance we can dedicate a portion of time (or a sub-program) for those interested in non-ferrous metals (aluminum, copper, zinc, etc.). If this is something that would be of interest to you and your company please send me an email:

As always your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update. Tell your friends, co-workers, suppliers and customers about SMU.

John Packard, Publisher


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