I thought it would be nice to send out our Premium newsletter to all of our readers today since we did not publish over the weekend due to the Thanksgiving Holiday here in the United States.
We are conducting our early December flat rolled steel market analysis this week. This means those who participate in our questionnaire, as well as our Premium level members, will receive a link to the Power Point presentation which contains a good portion of the results provided in a historical perspective. If you have not seen one of our Power Point presentations and would like to get a look at one please email Brett@SteelMarketUpdate.com or Ryan@SteelMarketUpdate.com.
As we approach the end of the calendar year I am having my son Ryan work with me to review everyone who is currently on our invitee list for the flat rolled market analysis we do twice per month. We want to make sure that we have the proper contact information, that the invite is getting through and that there are no issues regarding the process. If you would like to be included on our invitee list you can send an email to either Brett or Ryan (shown above) or, if you would like to suggest someone else from your company be included, please contact Brett or Ryan.
As we move into 2016 I am going to try to expand our analysis and break out market segments that might be best analyzed independently from the main group. I will discuss my ideas as we complete the project we are working on now with the existing survey people.
Some of you might have experienced a problem with our website on Thursday and Friday of last week as our security certificate expired on Thanksgiving Day. That issue was corrected on Friday and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. If you are having any issues with our website or newsletter please let me know: John@SteelMarketUpdate.com.
Ray Culley (SMU Events) and I had a tremendous conversation with one of the presenters for our Leadership Summit which will be held in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on March 7-9, 2016. We spoke with Alex Chausovsky of The Institute for Trend Research. Alex will be working with us and our attendees on economic issues (broad view) as well as where we are in the business cycle and how to use economic indicators to map out where your business stands and where it is going next. Many of you may remember Alan Beaulieu of ITR who spoke at this year’s Steel Summit Conference in Atlanta. We are expanding our relationship with ITR as we believe those attending our conference in Atlanta, as well as this Leadership Summit, will benefit from what they have to share. We will have more details about their involvement in our program over the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can register for the Leadership Summit online or by contacting our office: 800-432-3475. Early bird discount is available through January 1, 2016.
SMU Note: If you would like an invoice for our Leadership Summit with plans on paying at the beginning of the New Year we will apply early bird discount rates. You can send a note requesting an invoice to: Diana@SteelMarketUpdate.com.
SMU Note: For Cyber Monday we are allowing non-SMU member companies to utilize the membership rate which is $150 less than the normal rate shown on the website. To get the membership rate use the code: LEADERSHIP.
We also have our next Steel 101 workshop registration open. The next workshop will be in Starkville, MS and will include a tour of the SDI Columbus steel mill. The hotel we are using is the brand new (just opened about a week ago) Marriott located in Starkville. This will be an exceptional program for those new to the industry or wanting to learn more about the steel making, rolling and buying/selling process. You can learn more about the program on our website or by contacting me in my office: 800-432-3475.
SMU Note: If you would like to learn more about Premium level membership please contact me either by phone: 800-432-3475 or by email: John@SteelMarketUpdate.com and I will do my best to fill you ini on the benefits of Premium membership and what specials we are having on upgrading for existing Executive members.
As always your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update.
John Packard, Publisher
John PackardRead more from John Packard
Latest in 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.
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.
Sheet prices have fallen again this week on shorter lead times, higher imports, and potentially higher inventories. (We’ll see for sure when we release our service center shipment and inventory data next week.) I remember reporting almost exactly the same thing about a month ago and getting a fair amount of pushback. Not so much these days.