Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


First, I want to thank a number of our readers who went out of their way to compliment Steel Market Update on our coverage of the cold rolled trade case in Tuesday’s issue. My background is such that I have been on both sides of the fence – both at a steel mill and representing trading companies. I have also worked with manufacturers around the country as they struggled to remain competitive in a global economy. Our newsletter will not take sides but we will try to present as many opinions and angles to the story as possible. If you have an opinion that you would like to share you are welcome to send it to me at: John@SteelMarketUpdate.com.

On Saturday of this week Steel Market Update will begin our 8th year. We incorporated and began officially selling our newsletter and services on August 1, 2008. One of our early customers (and one of my former steel customers) didn’t know what I would write about after the first 30 days… I guess we fooled him! Thank you to everyone who has helped myself and our team keep Steel Market Update running and competing against those that are bigger, stronger and better financed. Your business has been truly appreciated.

It was a little odd seeing Steel Market Update name in print in a legal petition asking for Critical Circumstances by the domestic mills. No one told us ahead of time and I only discovered that we were cited as a source of industry information (worldwide) when I read a copy of the 63 page document. So, any of you out there who are on a trial to our newsletter – if the mill attorney’s believe what we say… well, what are you waiting for? You can register to become our newest member on our website or, you are welcome to contact our offices at 800-432-3475 (706-216-5440).

Are you attending #SteelSummitConference this year? We will have a big announcement early next week. Hint, it has to do with your mobile device…

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?