Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


In past years, Steel Market Update would take a week off over the 4th of July holiday. This year, with the 4th falling on a Saturday and the industry dealing with a number of “hot” issues such as price increase announcements, coated trade case and the new Level the Playing Field law, well, we decided our customers are more important.

Steel Market Update will publish SMU “lite” on Thursday as we attempt to give some of our people a well deserved rest. We will not publish on Sunday, July 5th and will return to our full schedule on Tuesday, July 7th.

Our next flat rolled steel market analysis (survey) will begin on Monday, July 6th and will conclude next Thursday afternoon. If you receive an invitation to participate please take a few minutes to click on the button and complete as much of our questionnaire as possible.

One of our keynote speakers at this year’s Steel Summit Conference, Dr. Chris Kuehl of Armada Corporate Intelligence made an interesting observation regarding the world events and the potential that Greece, China and some of the other gloom and doom may end up being net positives for business in the United States. Here is a small quote from this evenings newsletter: “The global geopolitical headwinds will be interesting to watch. The headwinds of Greece, Puerto Rico,China, and the rest of Europe (if we don’t realize worst case scenarios) could actually be bullish for US business. If companies and investors don’t see the Armageddon scenarios that they imagine, they may realize that the US economy might be strong enough to pull itself through and there are ample opportunities for growth out there. That could bring with it our own series of challenges, but those would come with any significant growth period (which we are still waiting to see in the broader US economy).” If you would like to learn more about Dr. Kuehl’s thoughts please join us in Atlanta in September.

Early bird registration for our 5th Steel Summit Conference expires on July 15th – after that date our $1000 per person rate (prior to SMU $100 discount for member companies) will rise to $1200 per person. You can register either online or through our office. We can be reached at: 800-432-3475 (706-216-5440).

We will begin posting those companies who have already registered on our website as well as the 2014 Steel Summit attending companies. If your company is not on the list you can rectify that situation by registering…

We also have registration open for our next Steel 101 workshop which will be held in Davenport, Iowa and will include our first tour of the SSAB Iowa mini-mill. This is an excellent program for new and experienced people alike. Details are on our website.

If you are a former subscriber to SMU or had a free trial in the past and you would like to try our newsletter out again – please send an email to: info@SteelMarketUpdate.com and we will arrange to give you a new 3 week trial.

Enough arm twisting for today…

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

John Packard, Publisher

Latest in Final Thoughts

Final thoughts

I’ve had discussions with some of you lately about where and when sheet prices might bottom. Some of you say that hot-rolled (HR) coil prices won’t fall below $800 per short ton (st). Others tell me that bigger buyers aren’t interested unless they can get something that starts with a six. Obviously a lot depends on whether we're talking 50 tons or 50,000 tons. I've even gotten some guff about how the drop in US prices is happening only because we’re talking about it happening.

Final thoughts

We’ve all heard a lot about mill “discipline” following a wave of consolidation over the last few years. That discipline is often evident when prices are rising, less so when they are falling. I remember hearing earlier this year that mills weren’t going to let hot-rolled (HR) coil prices fall below $1,000 per short ton (st). Then not below $900/st. Now, some of you tell me that HR prices in the mid/high-$800s are the “1-800 price” – widely available to regular spot buyers. So what comes next, and will mills “hold the line” in the $800s?