Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

Last week was a busy week with scrap prices for May coming into focus, our beginning of May flat rolled steel survey having been completed and getting more information about the possible sale of the Severstal NA assets made for an interesting week. On top of that SMU conducted one of our Steel 101 workshops. We have a busy issue for a Sunday evening and our Premium Level customers will receive another special supplemental issue tomorrow with a number of articles (plus our survey power point is now online).

Last week I interviewed Saikat Dey who is the CEO of Severstal North America. During our interview we touched on a number of subjects. One of the subjects was foreign imports. Dey told SMU, “I am not against imports as long as they are fair. What is not supportable is unfair trade practices.” He told us, “Imports are symptoms of world over-capacity.”  However, he felt that some in the steel industry have become “obsessed” with the subject and have begun to lose focus. North American steel mills have become, “myopic in our view of the world…The steel mills are too focused on Washington and what they can do for us instead of what we can do for ourselves.”

A reminder to those of you who are interested in expanding your knowledge about hot rolled coil derivatives and the various strategies which can be used to protect margins or inventory values, offer long-term fixed pricing, etc. and how to execute those strategies – we invite you to participate in our new Managing Price Risk II: Strategies & Execution workshop which will be held in Chicago on June 24 & 25th. More details can be found on our website. Note: This is not the same as our original Managing Price Risk workshop. The new workshop is geared toward identifying solutions to a specific goal and then working on executing trades (and what to do in various scenarios). If you have specific questions we recommend you contact Andre Marshall of Crunchrisk, LLC. Andre can be reached at: or by phone at: 713-401-9146.

We also want to remind our readers that Steel Market Update will be conducting a Steel Summit Conference on September 3 & 4, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. We are completing our program and should have announcements out very soon.

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.