One of the reasons SMU decided to go with an App for our Steel Summit Conference this year was the belief that the App was something that could be used prior to the conference as well as after the conference. For example, earlier today I was working on developing scrap information in relationship to iron ore (spot in China) and billet prices delivered to Turkey. I remembered that Pete Meyers of Metalico had spoken on the subject so I went to the App, clicked on the Agenda, found his presentation and reviewed his slides which then prompted me to ask him a couple of questions.
For those of you who attended our 2015 Steel Summit Conference, the App is still alive and you can still access power point slides and send emails to attendees or speakers with any questions you might have.
We think this will also be a bonus for those of you who will be attending our 2016 Steel Summit Conference (scheduled for August 30-31, 2016 in Atlanta) as you will have access to what was said last year as well as the new material once the conference is in full swing.
We will begin our early October flat rolled steel market analysis at 8 AM ET on Monday morning. If you receive an invite to participate please click on the link (button) contained in the message and you will be redirected to the questionnaire. I thank you in advance for helping us to better understand the flat rolled steel markets.
I will be traveling to Davenport, Iowa on Monday where I will meet up with the rest of our Steel 101 instructors: John Eckstein and Steve Painter who are flying out of Baltimore, Peter Wright who comes from Dallas/Ft. Worth and Mario Briccetti who joins us from Rhode Island. We are looking forward to our workshop and our first tour of the SSAB facility located about 30 minutes away.
I want to welcome our newest members and I want to take a moment to let you know that I encourage questions, comments and suggestions from our members. If there is something on your mind please let us know. You can reach us at: info@SteelMarketUpdate.com.
As always your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update.
John Packard, Publisher
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Latest in Final Thoughts
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.