Our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected by the events in France on Friday evening. Our hope is that the world can use the events of the past few weeks in order to galvanize efforts to ultimately rid those who would prefer the world in Chaos.
We have opened registration for our Leadership Summit which will be held at the PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on March 7-9, 2016. We remind everyone that we are limiting registration for this event and we have a limited number of rooms blocked. You can register on our website or through our office: 800-432-3475. As with other conferences hosted by Steel Market Update we offer a discount for your SMU membership (this one is $150 per person) and we have another discount for early bird registration ($250 discount good through January 1, 2016).
Our mid-November flat rolled steel market analysis will begin at 8 AM ET on Monday morning. If you receive an email invitation please click on the button which will take you to the questionnaire which is hosted by SurveyMonkey.com.
If you would like to be added to our survey invitation list please shoot me an email at John@SteelMarketUpdate.com.
If you would like to learn more about upgrading or becoming a Premium level member please contact our office at info@SteelMarketUpdate.com or 800-432-3475.
As always your business is truly appreciated by all of us at Steel Market Update.
John Packard, Publisher
John PackardRead more from John Packard
Latest in Final Thoughts
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.
What a difference a month makes. There are a few full bulls left in the room, but their numbers are dwindling. We’ll release results of our full steel market survey tomorrow afternoon. I took a sneak peak at the data on Thursday. And more people than I expected think that US hot-rolled (HR) coil prices will be in the $700s per short ton (st) two months from now. Vanishingly few think prices will be above $1,000/st in mid-April.