A thank you to Keith Gunter of McElroy for sharing his annual Christmas poem for the steel industry with us. If you have anything you would like to share (tastefully) with the industry please feel free to forward them to my attention: John@SteelMarketUpdate.com
We just confirmed our last couple of speakers for our new Leadership Summit Conference which will be held in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida on March 7-9, 2016 (PGA National Resort & Spa). We will roll it out on our website tomorrow (Wednesday) and we will have a complete article about the process and the program in Thursday evening’s issue of SMU. I highly recommend the conference for executives associated with manufacturing, distribution and trading. We think we have put the bar at a new level both in content and experience. Registration is open on a first come, first served basis. If you have any questions please feel free to contact either myself or Ray Culley (John@SteelMarketUpdate.com or Ray.Culley@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
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.