On Monday we will begin our mid-February flat rolled steel market analysis. The market has seen prices dropping over the past few weeks at a rate not seen for a number of years. Our survey will help us not only understand where price offers/orders are today but when we think the bottom will be reached. We have key indicators which come out of our market analysis: service center spot pricing both from a distribution and manufacturing perspective, foreign steel price competitiveness and willingness of domestic buyers to commit to new foreign offers, demand and expectations for demand as well as our SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index. If you receive an invitation to participate we thank you in advance for taking a few minutes to click on the link and complete our questionnaire.
If you used to get our questionnaire and you haven’t seen it in awhile – check your SPAM folder around 8 AM Eastern Time on Monday morning. That is when our next survey is scheduled to go out. Or, you can contact Brett@SteelMarketUpdate.com and he can provide you a link to SurveyMonkey.com which can help you and your IT people white list the survey invitations so they are not being blocked by your system.
I was reading a report over the weekend by Mike Marley of MetalPrices.com about the weakness in the ferrous scrap markets. He told his readers, “”Several forces are driving down demand and prices. First is the weaker steel demand in key domestic markets and rising steel imports in others. These are drawn to the U.S. by the strength of the U.S. economy and higher value of the U.S. dollar. Some of that foreign steel is made by integrated mills that use iron ore and were enjoying an unparalleled $100-a-ton raw material cost advantage over their scrap-based rivals. Last is the reduced offshore demand for scrap by mills in Turkey, Taiwan and South Korea. All of these factors won’t disappear overnight and could leave scrap dealers and their suppliers waiting for several months for scrap prices to rebound.”
Marley pointed out in his report that the automotive industry continues to be quite strong which means there is plenty of bundles and busheling scrap to be had. Prime grades could drop to that of shredded due to too much supply.
We mentioned this in an article about but for those who missed it, registration is open for our next Steel 101 workshop which will be just outside of downtown Chicago on May 19 & 20th. Details can be found on our website or you are welcome to contact our office: 800-432-3475 or info@SteelMarketUpdate.com.
It looks like winter has come to everywhere north of Atlanta. Stay warm. We will be working on President’s Day (Monday) and I will be in the office all week this week.
As always your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update.
John Packard, Publisher
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