Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


I am going to start my Final Thoughts today with a question. I am working on an article as part of my The Truth About Selling Steel series and I want to learn more from buyers and sellers of steel as to what the term “Value-Added” means? We hear this term used a lot in the steel industry. From a mill perspective value-added means products that go beyond the vanilla CS/B applications and through rolling, chemistry, coatings, etc. are deemed to be more valuable to the customer and more expensive to produce (and to purchase). I would like those of you who are buyers or sellers of steel to explain to me what you think “Value-Added” means. You can reach me at: John@SteelMarketUpdate.com

I have asked my LinkedIn group (Steel Market Update) as well as those connected with me on my personal LinkedIn page to comment on the subject. I know I have hit a nerve because LinkedIn is telling me it is one of the most active posts out there (at least in the steel world).

Now for the other side of the story. Watch Chinese iron ore prices carefully. I have heard that the Chinese mills have begun to drop export price offers. I am trying to check with my sources in Asia to see if this is true (and by how much). But, just about everyone in the steel industry thinks what is happening in China is a huge bubble (see our HR Futures Article in this evening’s issue) that will eventually burst. The question is when and how long before the aftermath comes to roost here in the U.S.? Right now, my opinion is we should have a tight market until 4th Quarter. I would love to know what you think.

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.

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.)