Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

As we approach the end of the year we begin to think about what is ahead of us for 2015. Will we see the massive amounts of foreign steel continue to flood the domestic (USA) market or will buyers back off as domestic prices slide closer to foreign offers? The expectation is for demand to grow next year and we got an email over the weekend from one company in Texas (associated with cattle) who told me that their business is forecast to be up 20 percent in 2015. This after having a record 2014… All eyes are on the commercial construction markets which are forecast by ITR to be up 9.5 percent in 2015. Construction will be one of the key industries impacting demand at the domestic mills during 2015.

Will 2015 be a year of volatility and frustration for the domestic steel mills? Will we see dumping suits on cold rolled and coated sometime during the year (and, if we do how will it impact the market)? How aggressive will AK Steel, Steel Dynamics and Nucor be as they absorb the former Severstal and Gallatin operations?

How will the rest of the world fare and will weakness in Europe or Asian bleed over into North America?

Will the Ford F-150 and its aluminum body be a success and are harbinger of things to come for the steel industry or, will the steel industry unveil new advanced high strength steels and steal aluminum’s thunder? Will oil prices under $85 per barrel undermine the F150 aluminum move? Will the new steels being developed get more support from the industry than moving toward aluminum?

The respondents in our last survey (last week) predicted that the average for benchmark hot rolled during calendar year 2015 will be $621 per ton. Write it down and let’s see how everyone did when we get back together in late December 2015.

We will publish again on Tuesday before taking a couple of issues off as we celebrate the Holidays.

As always your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update. Happy Holidays to all of you!

John Packard, Publisher

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