Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

Everyone continues to watch for how the consolidation of the Severstal NA assets (Dearborn and Columbus steel mills) will impact the flat rolled steel markets. Early indications are for shorter lead times out of the SDI Columbus facility and Dearborn lead times are shorter than the Middletown and Ashland plants for AK Steel. But, it is still very early in the process.

The second item to watch are the ongoing contract negotiations between the domestic mills and their customers. One service center pointed out that if the negotiations are contentious and a large number of companies opt for the spot markets vs. contract markets this could impact mill order patterns and actually create a boost to orders late in 4th Quarter. If you have information about how negotiations are progressing we would like to learn more. Are the mills asking for higher prices? Are any changing their stance on CRU, Platts or any other index being used to adjust pricing?

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.