Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

We are now two weeks away from the opening of our 4th Steel Summit Conference and our first two day conference. I am quite pleased at the response that we have received from a number of different fronts regarding our conference. Our conference is being held on September 3 & 4 which is only two days after the Labor Day holiday here in the United States. That conflict eliminated some of our potential attendees. Our conference is also one week before the MSCI annual forecasting conference in Chicago. SMU intentionally made sure our speakers and our program was different than that of the MSCI so those who wish to attend both could do so without feeling that the value of either conference was being compromised.

I want to thank our sponsors who stepped up by supporting our efforts to conduct an excellent conference at a reasonable cost. We use sponsor monies as a way of controlling our overhead not as a profit center. A special thank you to: Pacesetter Steel Service, Inc.; Alliance Steel; Magic Coil Products; Steel Market Development Institute; Cargill; Kansas City Southern Railroad; Interlake Steamship Company for their support.

And I want to thank the 22 speakers who agreed to speak at our conference. Each speaker was selected because we felt they would bring value to those attending our Steel Summit.

I had a conversation with Saikat Dey earlier this week about his keynote speech. Essentially, we spoke about the value of challenging the audience and making people think. Saikat will speak about, How Do You Produce Value. He promised to make it more than interesting…

Our other Keynote and Featured Speakers include: John Ferriola, CEO of Nucor; Dr. Christopher Kuehl of Armada Corporate Intelligence; Timna Tanners of Bank of America Merrill Lynch who will speak along with John Anton, Director of Steel Services, IHS Global Insight.

Six months back we had to try to figure out what would be some of the key issues impacting the steel industry on September 3 & 4 as we looked out into 4th Quarter 2014 and into 2015 and beyond. We had a feeling foreign steel and the possibility of new trade cases would be up there on that list. So, SMU was very fortunate to get attorney Roger Schagrin, who represents the steel producers, and Lewis Leibowitz, who supports the consumer, to debate the topic of foreign imports and its impact on the U.S. markets. We also got an industry consultant to moderate this segment and to put everything in a historical context for everyone. He is Paul Lowrey and his last talk at a SMU Steel Summit Conference left many asking for more.

Transportation has been a thorn in everyone’s side during calendar year 2014. However, it is more than just trucks and the lack of truck drivers. We have seen serious issues (and opportunities) with rail and Great Lakes and ocean going vessels. We have a great group with Rebecca Brewster, President and COO of the American Transportation Research Institute; Brendan O’Conner, Vice President of Marketing and Marine Traffic for Interlake Steamship Company and Patrick Ottensmeyer, Executive Vice President, Kansas City Southern Railroad.

We have many more speakers and segments which can be viewed on our website. I will also go through the balance of our speakers in Thursday evening’s edition.

So, we built a great program–are people registering to see it? The answer is yes. We currently have 154 people registered which has exceeded our early forecast. We believe that we will be close to 170 people in a room that holds 180 when all is said and done. Yes, we have room for more people and you can register on our website or by contacting our office at 800-432-3475. A partial list of companies is on our website on the Steel Summit page.

If you have any questions we are here to answer them. We can be reached at: or by phone: 800-432-3475 (706-216-5440).

Come join us in Atlanta!

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

John Packard, Publisher

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.