Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

First, a correction or clarification from an article done last week about US Steel idling one of their tin plate mills. We understand that USS has tin mill operations in Gary as part of the Gary Works, they also have a plant in Portage, IN which is part of the old National Steel facility and one is in East Chicago, Indiana which was part of LTV and was acquired by USS prior to LTV going bankrupt. It is the East Chicago facility that US Steel is idling, not the plant at Gary Works. The WARN notice to employees is calling for a mid-March shutdown.

One of our Asian steel and iron ore sources told SMU over the weekend that they had driven through the “ghost town” city located in Tianjin which is one of the financial capitals in China. CNN reported on the city in a report published on January 19, 2015. Click here to see the full report.

I mentioned a few months back that I had been invited to board one of the Interlake Steamship Company iron ore vessels in Minnesota and to remain on board as the ship transits the Great Lakes bound for one of the steel mills in Northern Indiana, Detroit or Ohio. My plan is to report from the ship through our Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and our own blog located on the Home Page of our website. We have set an approximate date of the last week in June 2015.

If there are things you would like to learn about an iron ore carrier, loading/unloading, transit time, weather, crew, conditions feel free to send me an email and I will compile a list of topics to be addressed during the voyage.

You are welcome to “follow” Steel Market Update and my trip aboard the Interlake Steamship vessel later this year by signing up for our Twitter feed (SMUsteel) or through our LinkedIn group which is called Steel Market Update.

Our next Steel 101 workshop will be held in Chicago with a tour of the NLMK Indiana (Portage, IN) steel mill. I thought you might be interested in what a couple of the attendees for the workshop we just finished had to say about our workshop:

“I thoroughly enjoyed Steel 101 workshop and mill tour. Through the 2 days of the workshop, I felt as though my knowledge of the products I sell was greatly enhanced, and my product knowledge was expanded beyond the scope of what I typically sell. The instructors of the workshop were incredibly knowledgeable, and made themselves available to questions before, during, and after each discussion. I would recommend to anyone looking to enhance their knowledge of the steel industry.” John Frame, Kloeckner Metals.

“Really, really well done. Prep was excellent, and the material was comprehensive and thorough. I was very pleased. Mill tour was excellent, but the classroom experience really exceeded my expectations. Very knowledgeable instructors who did a great job of simplifying concepts without dumbing them down. Was very happy with how much I learned. Also very glad to have the book to take home– I expect it to be a useful reference.I really enjoyed the experience and would highly recommend Steel 101 to others looking to learn more about the industry.” Lee McMillan, Clarkson Capital Markets

One of the nice things about our Steel 101 workshops is the diversity of our attendees. We have manufacturing, service center, steel mill, toll processors and suppliers to the industry as well as members of the financial community from time to time. The workshop is an excellent way to network not only with our knowledgeable instructors but with the host steel mill and all of the attendees. We limit the size of our workshop to 20 to 30 people so everyone can receive the individual attention they need and be able to meet and get to know the others in the group.

We will have details and registration up on the next Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop online by mid to late this week. The dates are May 19 & 20, 2015. You are also welcome to contact our office for more information or to register now (or to get an invoice) rather than waiting. We can be reached at: 800-432-3475 (706-216-5440) or by email:

We have two articles in tonight’s edition of SMU about the status of shipping on the Great Lakes. One is about the U.S. Coast Guard and their efforts to escort the final ships on the Lakes. The second is about iron ore shipments and specifically those related to Interlake Steamship Company as we interviewed Brendan O’Connor, VP of Interlake Steamship Co.

For our Premium level members, we have put the SMU flat rolled steel market survey results from this past week on the website.

Some feel good news: Greg Goad, head of steel purchasing for Northwest Pipe was credited for being a hero as he and another man rescued a woman from a sinking car in the Columbia River this past Thursday while on his lunch break. Good job Greg!

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

John Packard, Publisher

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