Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

My opinion (and many of the items discussed in my Final Thoughts articles are just that – my opinion) is that we are getting close to seeing a disruption of services at one mill and we probably are close to possibly seeing two mills (ArcelorMittal and US Steel) lockout the USW members at their mills.

ArcelorMittal walked away from negotiations over the weekend. The union will be conducting meetings at their mills during the first half of this week. I do not know exactly what concessions have been made (on either side) but it appears that AM is committed to get something. They are well positioned in the world to see the dangers lurking that could affect the viability of their mills in North America. They need to be able to compete not only with their EAF competitors in North America but against the Chinese and others.

US Steel continues to negotiate but our expectation is that they too may not have a choice but to impress upon the workers that it is time to make concessions if US Steel is going to continue to survive in a world market.

In tonight’s issue there is an article about the oil country tubular goods (OCTG) case against the South Koreans. The ruling is against the U.S. and they need to go back and recalculate the South Korean costs to produce (and reduce or eliminate any penalties that they have).

We may find, over time, that many if not all of the dumping suits filed on flat rolled falter or are kicked out by the World Trade Organization or other entities that find just because our market prices are higher and our currency gains strength against the rest of the world you can’t block free trade – no matter how distasteful it might be to your business.

Steel buyers need to stay aware of the changing landscape and we recommend staying tuned in to Steel Market Update as we analyze not only the events of the day but where things are headed based on the rest of the world.

We discuss these events in detail at our Steel 101 workshops. I highly recommend them for new hires, those changing positions or needing a little polish to their education base. Our next Steel 101 workshop is less than a month away and will be held in Davenport, Iowa. Included is a tour of the SSAB steel mill. The dates are October 6-7, 2015 (Tuesday and Wednesday with a Monday evening arrival). You can find more details by clicking on this link. You can register for the workshop by clicking here.

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

John Packard, Publisher

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