Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

One of the articles in this evening’s issue of Steel Market Update is based on questions being asked during a conversation we had with a number of steel executives in New York City last week. About one quarter of our articles are prompted by questions or comments we receive from buyers and sellers of steel on an almost daily basis (as well as the financial community). I encourage our readers, whether full members/subscribers or not, to feel free to ask us questions. After all, if you have questions most likely there are others who are having the same concerns/curiosity. You can send your questions directly to me at or you can contact our office at 800-432-3475.

Last week’s flat rolled market trends questionnaire participants were 46 percent manufacturing companies, 39 percent service centers, 7 percent trading companies, 5 percent steel mills with the remainder being toll processors. The questionnaire begins with everyone responding to a short list of questions having to do with Sentiment, Demand and any specific short term issues we want to investigate. After these questions the respondents are broken into industry groups and complete the questionnaire based on their market segment. Many times we will ask different market segments similar questions to see how they respond and will they confirm the opinions of the other. A good example is spot pricing out of the service centers. Manufacturers look at spot pricing differently than service centers, any of which could have an alternative motive for moving spot prices in one direction or another.

The vast majority of the results are provided to our Premium level member companies after we have completed our analysis. In the case of last week’s analysis it was put on our website on Friday afternoon and is able to be accessed on our website by our Premium members as well as those who participated in our questionnaire. We put the results into a Power Point presentation and provide a historical context to most of the responses so our Premium members and our survey participants can get a good feel for the trends being explored. You may want to either, 1) upgrade to a Premium level membership or, 2) become a participant in our survey. You can contact our office at: to ask questions and to be added to Premium or as a data provider.

A note that there is an excellent speaker at this week’s Association of Steel Distributors regional meeting in Chicago. Bernard Swiecki of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) will speak about what lies ahead for the automotive industry. I have seen Bernard speak in the past and he does an excellent job of putting the industry into perspective and forecasting future build schedules. The meeting is being held at Sofitel Chicago Water Tower Hotel in downtown Chicago. You can find more details at

A short note about the two events Steel Market Update has later this year. We are hosting our 6th Steel Summit Conference on the 29th through the 31st of August in Atlanta, Georgia. You can find more details about the program, speakers, location & hotel and costs as well as registration details on our website:

The second event we will have this Fall will be our Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop. The workshop will be held in downtown Memphis, Tennessee and will include a tour of the brand spanking new Big River Steel plant. The dates are November 15-16, 2016, details and registration can be found on our website.

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

John Packard, Publisher

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