Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

I expect the other domestic mills to go along with price increases of their own – whether they choose to announce the move may depend on what they feel is in their best interest. I would anticipate that Nucor will come out with their own announcement. US Steel and ArcelorMittal are in the process of negotiating labor contracts and they may be more reserved with any kind of public display announcing higher prices when they are trying to get concessions out of their customers. As we write this article we are aware of three mills having announced increases: NLMK USA, Northstar Bluescope and AK Steel.

Nothing is a for sure when these kinds of announcements are made. If you have a couple of mills who do not support the move, for whatever reason, the whole thing can come crashing down. At this moment, my opinion is that the mills will collect somewhere around $30-$40 per ton above the business levels being used this past week.

We have two exceptional events happening in early 2016. We still have room in our Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop which will be held on January 19-20, 2016 in Starkville, MS. The workshop also includes a tour of the SDI Columbus, MS steel mill which is located about 20 minutes away from the brand new Marriott hotel where the classes will be held. Details are on our website or you can contact us at 800-432-3475 or by email:

We also have our Leadership Summit Conference which will be held on March 7-9, 2016 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. This conference will be different from anything we have done in the past and we have some exceptional speakers who will share insights into: the Economy, antidumping and countervailing trades suits, managing different generations in the work place (especially those pesky Millennials), creating a competitive advantage and understanding the new steels – from automotive to construction. Registration is open and we have a $250 early bird discount for those who register through January 1, 2016. Details are on our website. The conference is being held at the beautiful PGA National Resort & Spa and we are limiting the number of attendees. Please contact us with any questions you might have: 800-432-3475 or

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

John Packard, Publisher


Latest in Final Thoughts

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.

Final thoughts

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?