Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

The US Department of Commerce provided the domestic steel industry a “win” according to early reaction to the just released preliminary determination of antidumping (AD) against China, Brazil, Japan, Russia, India, Korea and the United Kingdom. I have to imagine some will be surprised at the high penalties assigned to a number of countries (see article on the subject in this issue for complete details). One of the mills involved told SMU this evening that the ruling was “bad news” for their company. When asked if their mill would stop shipping cold rolled to the United States we were told, “Yes, it’s over.”

A warning to our readers, scrap prices are not going sideways in March. They are going higher. There appears to be support coming from Asia and Turkey as international prices are rising. We are also seeing support in Asia in the iron ore spot markets which just went above $50/dmt on 62% Fe fines for the first time in a number of months. Higher scrap prices, especially if they reach as high as $20 per ton will provide a reason for higher flat rolled prices. You should anticipate higher spot prices.

All eyes appear to be on Nucor as they debate what they need to do regarding flat rolled steel prices. We have been told by buyers that mills like SDI are waiting to open their spot order book at Butler as they want a better understanding of where the market is headed from here.

SMU spoke with a couple of the smaller mills and learned that both of them were planning on raising prices on their products. One cited new higher pricing coming out of one of the Mexican steel mills on hot rolled and cold rolled (+$25/ton) with no sales being offered on coated due to strength in the Mexican markets.

A reminder to our readers, SMU will try to keep everyone up to date on critical information as it happens. This is especially true of price increase announcements and trade case rulings. We will try to put articles in the rolling menu on the home page of the website first. The ruling on the CR AD came out after 6 PM and by 6:45 PM we had an article on the website for our members to review. So, when you know something is about to happen keep an eye on our website.

SMU also uses Twitter from time to time (SMUsteel), we have a Facebook page, Google+ and LinkedIn company page and group (Steel Market Update is the name of our LinkedIn group). I also have a personal LinkedIn page. When something important happens I try to keep those areas up to speed but in most cases we point everyone back to our website blog or articles.

We will have much more on the trade rulings (and hot rolled AD ruling is due around the 15th of March), price increase announcements and reaction to both on our blog and in our next issue of Steel Market Update. If you like the way we follow the important items that are critical to your business please tell your friends, customers and suppliers about us.

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

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.