Our office is overwhelmed with the response we have had to our 5th Steel Summit Conference which is only our 2nd two day conference. As of this afternoon we had 272 people registered. The facility we have can comfortably seat 292 people… We will have a full house. Thank you.
For those coming to the conference – your conference experience will not be complete unless you download the Steel Market Update Events App. This can be done through the App store on your smart phone or tablet. You will want to download the App for a number of reasons but I will give you three reasons right now:
- You can access a complete list of the attendees, speakers, sponsors and exhibitors. Not only will you know who is attending but you have the ability to communicate with them either prior to or at the conference. Networking is #1…
- We will provide the speakers Power Point presentations to our attendees through the App. No more having to ask and wait. Easy access to presentations is #2.
- During the conference will will conduct real-time polling which will happen through the App. Real-time interaction is #3.
OK, so now you are going to ask me – how do I get the App (and more importantly where do I get my password as the App is password protected and only available to those registered for the conference)? If you can’t find one of the emails with the details and your password: Please contact Brett@SteelMarketUpdate.com or by phone: 800-432-3475 and he will help you.
Once you get to the conference we will have an booth in the exhibition area dedicated to our newsletter, website and the App. Brett will be holding down the fort there and will be able to help you. However, if at all possible, please download the App before you arrive at the convention center.
Brett can also help those who might have questions about the differences between Premium and Executive level newsletters/membership. He is the one who populates our website with all of the data, surveys, etc. If you have not taken time to dig through our website stop by the Newsletter booth and ask Brett to show you some of the secrets to the site.
We have picked up a number of reservations for our next Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop which will be held in Davenport, Iowa on October 6-7th and will include a tour of the SSAB mill. You can find out more information about the program, instructors and how to register online. Or, for those attending our conference will will have an Events booth in the exhibition area that will be maned by all of the Steel 101 instructors. Got a question? Want to know what kind of experience our instructors have? Stop by and talk to us.
I want to take a moment to thank our sponsors for this year’s conference: Our corporate sponsor is Pacesetter Steel Service, Inc. Pacesetter will have a booth in the exhibition area and we recommend that you spend a few moments checking it out and meeting their team. Our Networking Party sponsor is Steel Dynamics and they will have a number of their people at the conference. Take a moment to thank them for their support of our conference. The two lunches are being sponsored by Cargill and Samuel. Coffee is being provided all day long thanks to Magic Coil Products and Alliance Steel – both companies have been long-time sponsors for multiple conferences and their support is greatly appreciated. Break sponsors are Kenwal and All Metals. Our Exhibitors are: Institute for Trend Research (ITR), Association of Steel Distributors, Pacesetter Steel, Fabricators & Manufacturers Association and our two booths.
Yes, we will have a new opening to the conference… For those of you who did not attend last year this won’t mean anything to you (sorry).
Sorry to those who are not attending the conference – my focus has been on the speakers presentations (I’ve seen some real good ones) and making sure everything gets done and done on time. Some of this will spill over into our newsletter over the next few issues. I think it will be a good thing as we pick up information that we did not have before (or that was presented in a new way).
By the way – if you can’t go this year mark your calendar for next year – probably August 30-31, 2016…
As always your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update.
John Packard, Publisher
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What are some “Black Swans” to watch out for? With the war in Ukraine entering its third year, your mind might understandably move to conflicts overseas. Here is one closer to home to consider: US trade relations with Mexico taking a turn for the worse. I mention that because the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) dropped a (virtual) bombshell earlier this month.
Domestic prices have been sliding since the beginning of the year, and I don’t see any obvious reasons why the slide might stop this week. But let’s put the timing of a bottom aside for a minute. The question among some of you seems to be whether we’ll see another price spike, or at least a “dead-cat bounce,” before the typical summer doldrums kick in.
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.
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?
Everyone knows the old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Just because it’s a cliché doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. A lot of inked has been spilled trying to figure out why prices are falling now. I thought it might be as simple as this: Market dynamics in the fourth quarter (UAW strike, companies buying ahead of an anticipated post-strike price spike, etc.) pulled forward restocking activity that typically happens in the first quarter.