Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


To our USA customers welcome back from your 4th of July holiday.

I saw this quote while doing some research this afternoon, “Fun is one of the most important and underrated ingredients in any successful venture” (Richard Branson) This is something I have believed in for my entire steel career.

Speaking of fun, we have been adding some special touches to our next Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop. The workshop will be held in Memphis, Tennessee (finally, an easy location to get to by plane) and we will be touring the brand new Big River Steel complex. Because the mill is located about an hour drive from Memphis we are planning on a special dinner and networking event between our Steel 101 attendees and the management of Big River Steel. This workshop is already one-third sold out. You can find information about the November 15-16, 2016 workshop on our website or, you are welcome to contact our office at 800-432-3475 or by email: info@SteelMarketUpdate.com.

Scrap settlements have not yet happened for the month of July. The domestic mills did cancel any June orders that had not shipped by the end of the month. Our sources are advising us that shredded scrap appears to be the weakest product, especially with some of the mills taking outages and not buying as much as they normally would (mostly long product mills). The expectation is for prime grades to trade sideways while obsolete grades like HMS are expected to trade down $10 and shred could be down as much as $15-$20.

For flat rolled buyers, the EAF sheet mills biggest buys are for busheling and bundles (prime grades of scrap). The sheet mills are trying to push prime prices down $5 to $10 but have not yet gotten any takers.

It is expected that settlement may not occur until the end of this week. We will continue to follow the scrap markets and will advise as prices come into focus.

End users: Your quarterly contract prices were just adjusted and now reflect the dramatic increases that we have seen over the past seven months. The reset is probably unsettling to some of you. Worse yet, it may be forcing some companies to look elsewhere for either steel or to manufacture your products outside of the United States. I would like to hear from manufacturing companies about the new pricing levels and how it is impacting your business. You can reach me at: John@SteelMarketUpdate.com.

A note about our Steel Summit Conference: Registrations are on pace to exceed last year’s record attendance by at least 100 people. We have published the names of the companies registered as of the end of June on our website. You can find the list in the Steel Summit event section of the website in the right hand column just under the list of sponsors. Names with an asterisk (*) next to them mean there are more than one person attending from that company. We will try to update the list at least once per week. If you do not see your company name on the list and you think it should be – send us a note: info@SteelMarketUpdate.com.

We expanded our room block at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway Hotel but I know we will still sell out of our room block by the middle of the month of July. The $139 rate is not guaranteed with your registration as once the room block is gone the hotel will raise rates. I suggest booking your hotel reservations ASAP (and register for our conference , if you haven’t done so, while you are at it).

We have included a full schedule for this year’s conference as one of our articles for this evening. We did make a change with two of the scheduled programs in order to accommodate the hectic schedule of one of our speakers.

If you have any questions we are available almost 24-7 to answer them: info@SteelMarketUpdate.com or 800-432-3475.

As always your business is truly appreciated by all of us 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.)