Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

This will be another interesting week for the steel industry. We have US Steel and AK Steel announcing their earnings and conducting conference calls with analysts. Will any of the mills make a move to push prices prior to one of these conference calls (mills have done it in the past)? There continues to be the ever present rumor of trade suits. One of the analysts contacted me late last week to say they heard cold rolled will be filed this week. So, the market continues to wonder what will come first: price increase or dumping suits?

Our next Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals has room for about 6 more people. The workshop will be held in Merrillville, Indiana just outside of Chicago and close to our mill tour facility which is NLMK USA Portage, Indiana mini-mill. The cost of the program is $2000 per person with discounts available for Steel Market Update member companies and for those companies sending more than one person. Our instructors: John Eckstein, Peter Wright, Steve Painter, Mario Briccetti and myself are all prepared to hold a great program for all of our attendees. If you should have any questions or would like to learn more about our Steel 101 program you can reach us at: 800-432-3475 or by email at: You are also welcome to contact me directly, as I am out of the office this week, by calling me at: 770-596-6268. We want to see you at this or one of our future workshops. The next Steel 101 workshop will be in Iowa in the early Fall 2015. More details to be announced soon.

SMU will conduct our 5th Steel Summit Conference on September 1st and September 2nd in Atlanta, Georgia. The location will be the same as last year, the Georgia International Convention Center ( which is located next to the Atlanta International Airport. The Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway Hotel will be our host hotel. We have a limited number of rooms blocked and reservations will need to be made as soon as possible. We will provide more details about reservations and registration as this week goes on.

We have a tremendous lineup of speakers as evidenced by our keynote speakers. We have one of the top forecasting economists in Alan Beaulieu of the Institute of Trend Research. Alan and his identical twin brother Brian have written a number of books including their latest: Prosperity in the Age of Decline: How to Lead Your Business and Preserve Wealth Through the Coming Business Cycles. Their book predicts a coming economic crisis and our attendees will be both entertained and challenged by Alan who was also the principal in a steel fabrication business earlier in his career.

Mr. Beaulieu is not the only keynote speaker to have recently published a book.We are looking forward to hearing Dan DiMicco, former President and CEO of Nucor Steel and author of American Made: Why Making Things Will Return Us to Greatness speak to us about American manufacturing, politics and the future as he sees it. Mr. DiMicco is always an entertaining and thought-provoking speaker and we believe he will be one of the many highlights to our conference.

Last year we introduced Dr. Chris Kuehl, Managing Director of Armada Corporate Intelligence. He is the Chief Economist for the National Association of Credit Management and he prepares their monthly Credit Manager’s Index. Dr. Kuehl is an entertaining economic speaker and we anticipate a unique view of the world we live in.

We also have joining us for the 5th time, the top rated metals and mining analyst, Timna Tanners of Bank of America Merrill Lynch Research and John Anton, Principle Economist, IHS Pricing & Purchasing Service. Timna and John will discuss what went right (and wrong) with their 2015 steel and commodity price forecasts and what their new forecasts are for 2016.

These are only five of more than 20 highly qualified and entertaining speakers we will have at this year’s conference. Please mark your schedules and plan on arriving early (Monday evening as we want to start networking at the Marriott lobby and bar). More details to follow both in this newsletter and on our website soon. We have to program the website to begin the registration process and our goal is to have that up and running by no later than the end of this week (fingers crossed and no bugs in the system).

Sponsorship opportunities exists as do a very limited number of booths. We are anticipating a large number of manufacturing, distribution, steel mill, trading company, toll processing and suppliers to the industry attendees. If you would like to know more about who attends a SMU Steel Summit Conference please contact me at: or by phone: 770-596-6268.

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

John Packard, Publisher



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