SMU Data and Models

SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index Sets New Record High

Written by John Packard

Buyers and sellers of steel continue to grow in their belief that their company will be successful in both the existing market as well as out into the future. A new record high for our Index was achieved this week as our Steel Market Update (SMU) Steel Buyers Sentiment Index was measured at +59. This is one point better than the old high achieved during the middle of April.

The trend has been for an even more optimistic industry as rising flat rolled steel prices increase the value of inventories on the floor and demand continues to improve in the non-residential construction sector of the steel market. The three month moving average (3MMA) for our Sentiment Index also set a new high at +46.5. One month ago the 3MMA was +43.33 and one year ago it was +18.5.

Future Sentiment showed some signs of tiring after setting a record high in mid-April of +72 it was down almost 8 points, coming in at +64.2 this week. Even so, the +64.2 is considered to be in the very optimistic range of our index and much improved over the +30 reported one year ago.

Below is an interactive graphic of our current Sentiment Index. It can be seen when logged into the website. If you need assistance please contact our office at: 800-432-3475 or by email:

{amchart id=”109″ SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index- Survey}

What the Respondents Had to Say

As always there were a mixture of responses to questions about sentiment and demand. You may find some of the responses interesting or telling as you think about what impact Sentiment will have on the market, and market prices going forward.

“The increased lead times have put some customers behind and there is a need for inventory now.”

“[It] appears that product demand is supply driven at present. Consumption demand is remaining skeptical within the service centre market. OEMs (depending on segment) are improving forecasts/consumption.”

“Starting to see more and more raw material increases, not just steel.”

“Things have not picked up as much as they should have by now after long winter.”

About the SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Indices

SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index is a measurement of the current attitude of buyers and sellers of flat rolled steel products in North America regarding how they feel about their company’s opportunity for success in today’s market. It is a proprietary product developed by Steel Market Update for the North American steel industry.

Positive readings will run from + 10  to + 100 and the arrow will point to the right hand side of the meter located on the Home Page of our website indicating a positive or optimistic sentiment.

Negative readings will run from -10 to -100 and the arrow will point to the left hand side of the meter on our website indicating negative or pessimistic sentiment.

A reading of “0” (+/- 10) indicates a neutral sentiment (or slightly optimistic or pessimistic) which is most likely an indicator of a shift occurring in the marketplace.

Readings are developed through Steel Market Update market surveys which are conducted twice per month. We display the index reading on a meter on the Home Page of our website for all to enjoy.

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