Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


Dealers are predicting (positioning?) that ferrous scrap prices will move sideways as we move into the month of February. We have been told Turkey is not buying much scrap as they have scaled back production levels to about 70 percent. The current market is a supply driven market (as opposed to demand from the steel mills). The value of the dollar (see Premium report published earlier this week) is keeping the lid on exports.

One of our sources from the east coast told us, “From the people I am speaking with over the last few days, and I am on the same page with them, the market should be sideways in February.  The eastern part of the country has seen obsolete flows slow dramatically from the middle of January onward.  They will not get much better in February I imagine in the aftermath of the recent snow storm.  Mill demand may not be as good as it was at the beginning of January but many of the mills I have spoken to have not received all that they ordered this month either.  Railroad traffic is intermittent in part due to the weather.”

February negotiations will be in full force next week. SMU will keep our eye on the market and advise when it comes into focus.

When I decided to put on the Leadership Summit Conference we looked to see what other conferences/conflicts there would be with our early March 2016 date. We spent a year putting together the program and working with the PGA National Resort & Spa believing that if we provided an exceptional program “they would come” (Field of Dreams). As the date got closer we came to realize there were just too many conflicts (MSCI, ASD, FMA, Port of Tampa, corporate meetings, etc.). Second, we found that many companies were being very careful with expenditures with business being slower than anticipated one year ago. The bottom line is we have decided to cancel the conference. We are going to use a number of the speakers in our Steel Summit conference at the end of August and we are working on a special Steel 101 program in conjunction with Big River Steel.

One thing about the steel industry – it is always changing and you have to learn to roll with the punches…

A quick note to those who have Steel Market Update and/or myself in your contact manager. SMU (and I) have moved. Our new address is: Steel Market Update, P.O. Box 1255, Hobe Sound, FL 33475. Our 800 phone number continues as is: 800-432-3475. However, our local phone numbers have changed with the main number now being: 772-245-8630. My cell number remains the same: 770-596-6268 as do all of our email addresses (mine being: John@SteelMarketUpdate.com).

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

John Packard, Pubisher

Latest in Final Thoughts

Final thoughts

What's the tea in the steel industry this week? Here's the latest SMU gossip column! Just kidding... kind of. Yes, some of the comments we receive in our weekly flat-rolled market steel buyers' survey are honestly too much to put into print. Some make us laugh. Some make us cringe. Some are cryptic. Most are serious. We appreciate them all. Below are some highlights from our survey results this week. Some of the comments that we can share with you are also included, in italics, in the buyers' own words, with minimal editing on our part.

Final thoughts

Unless you've been under a rock, you know by know that Nucor's published HR price for this week is $760 per short ton, down $65/st from the company’s $825/st a week ago. I could use more colorful words. But I think it’s safe to say that most of the market was not expecting this. For starters, US sheet mills never announce price decreases. (OK, not never. It has come to my attention that Severstal North America rescinded a price increase back on Feb. 14, 2012. And it caused quite the ruckus.)