A reminder, if you received an email invitation to participate in our flat rolled market analysis please click on the link contained in the message. The questionnaire won’t take more than a few minutes to complete and at the end of the week we will have a Power Point presentation for all of those who participated in this week’s questionnaire.
License data continues to disappoint as trending toward numbers greater than 3.0 million tons for October. The good news from my office today is I at least spoke with a couple of companies who normally buy foreign steel and they are reporting they have little to no foreign steel on order at this time.
We continue to work diligently on our program for the upcoming Leadership Conference which will be held in March (8-9) at PGA National Resort & Spa the week after the hotel hosts the Honda Golf Classic. We are working with trade attorney Lewis Leibowitz to do a segment on the antidumping and countervailing duty trade laws, what changes may come out of the new trade language passed by the U.S. Congress earlier this summer as well as the status of each of the trade cases and what manufacturing companies and service centers need to be doing to protect their businesses in the future. We will have more details about the Trade segment of our program as well as other segments over the coming weeks. Right now you can set aside those dates…
Registration is open for our next Steel 101 workshop which will be held in Starkville, Mississippi on January 19-20, 2016 and will include a tour of the SDI Columbus steel mill. We are working with a brand new Marriott hotel (not even open yet) and we hope we can get all of the hotel arrangements confirmed by a live human being soon (we will add them to the website at that point in time).
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
A clear consensus has emerged among respondents to SMU’s latest steel market survey that hot-rolled (HR) coil prices will bottom this month or in April. Seventy-five percent of respondents to our latest survey think that prices will find a floor before May as the chart below shows:
I want to give a big shoutout to the good folks at the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (FMA) for inviting me to their annual conference this week in Clearwater, Fla. I also want to give a special thanks to the FMA for awarding SMU founder John Packard with a lifetime achievement award – on that also gave me a chance to catch up with my old boss in person.
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.