Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


Sentiment amongst most steel buyers is that the mills (USS & ArcelorMittal USA) will not lockout the union workers. It appears there is a bit of a stalemate right now as the mills feel they need to get something from the union and the union workers believe that what they have they earned and cannot be taken away. ATI is going to use a mediator so maybe what comes out of their mediation will work its way into the USS/AM negotiations.

I am working on a couple of articles that I think our readers will find very interesting for Sunday evening’s edition of Steel Market Update. One is on language changes in the cold rolled and hot rolled antidumping and countervailing duty trade suits and the other is on the secondary flat rolled steel business.

We still have seats available for our upcoming Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop in Davenport, Iowa. This workshop includes a tour of the SSAB mini-mill. Details can be found on our website.

As always your business is truly appreciated by all of us 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?