Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


Besides working on flat rolled steel pricing for most of the week, I have also been interviewing companies by email and over the phone to learn more about demand and how demand is holding up as we get deeper into 4th Quarter 2014. This becomes an even more important topic when considering rising inventories at the service centers and, what appears to be another big month in store for flat rolled steel imports.

It is normal for many industries to be affected by normal seasonal issues around the holiday period between Thanksgiving and New Year. I plan on putting an article together about what I am learning in Sunday evening’s issue of SMU. If you have any comments regarding demand for your products that you would like to share with me you can do so by sending an email to: John@SteelMarketUpdate.com. Your comments will not be attributed to you or your company.

Our next flat rolled steel market survey will begin on Monday of next week. I have added a number of new steel buyers to our invitation list this week. If you are actively involved in the buying and/or selling of flat rolled steel and would like to participate in our survey please send me an email to: John@SteelMarketUpdate.com. The number of invitees is now over 600 people representing approximately 580 companies.

The latest from our friends at Armada Corporate Intelligence, “Europe is Driving the Markets Nuts – The volatility of the market should not be shocking to people by this time – after all, we have been seeing this kind of behavior for several years now and there are many who have been predicting this kind of activity since the start of the year. The press has been pushing the story that Ebola is somehow the trigger for all this but that seems to ignore the comments from the investors themselves. They are blaming this on the turmoil in Europe and especially the fact that Germany has been caught up in this crisis now. The sinking of the German economy into real recession means that there will be no recovery in the Eurozone as a whole and that means low rates from the ECB and a continued expansion of the dollar’s value – not good news for US business as a whole.”

Our Premium level members (and free trials) have access to our currency reports regarding the value of the U.S. dollar against a whole host of steel trading nations. We produced one earlier this week which we shared with all of our readers as we believe the rise of the dollar is having (and will have) a significant role in scrap, iron ore and steel prices.

By the way, we put up a blog post earlier today regarding the tentative agreement between US Steel Canada and USW Local 1005 which represents most of the union workers at Hamilton Works. The got the same deal as they had prior to the expiration (October 15, 2014). You can read the blog post by clicking here.

Just a quick reminder that our next Steel 101 workshop is open for registration. The workshop will be held in Charleston, South Carolina and will include a tour of the Nucor Berkeley steel mill. Details can be found on our website.

A warm welcome to our newest members. We encourage you to ask questions, make comments or suggestions – especially if you have ideas about topics where you would like us to produce articles. We are all ears and welcome the interaction.

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

John Packard, Founder & 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.