International Steel Prices

SMU Survey Results: Foreign Steel at Reasonable Pricing?

Written by John Packard

For those of you who are not familiar with Steel Market Update and our ways of gathering information one of the things we do is conduct what we call a detailed flat rolled steel market trends analysis twice per month. Our trends analysis is another way of saying we conduct an extensive survey of the flat rolled steel market. In the questionnaire used we are trying to identify key trends which will/are impacting steel prices, demand, delivery, negotiations , sentiment and a number of other areas. Many of the inquiries made are the same and don’t change from one survey to another. Other questions are focused on a specific short term subject where we are trying to gather more information as we work to better appreciate the current market situation.

A good example from our most recent survey which began on the 5th of July was a question posed about whether companies were having any difficulties sourcing foreign steel at competitive pricing. We asked the question by group and received the following responses:

As you can see by the above graphic, there is a significant difference in the responses between end users and service centers. End users tend to be very careful when selecting sources and many have gone out and found new suppliers since the dumping suits were filed one year ago. Service centers were noting they were having more difficulties – at least for specialty products (special chemistries, ultra light gauge, etc.) – not a problem for commodity grades. We got a few comments from the service centers who participated and responded to this question “Are you finding there are enough foreign sources to meet your flat rolled steel demands at reasonable prices?”:

“Yes for commodity items and no for specialized products”

“Reasonable today, not so sure two to three months from now!”

“If I wanted to buy foreign there is plenty, at least for now.”

The end users who reported difficulties were those buying ultra light gauge steels (a lot of that steel was coming from China and India prior to the dumping decisions).

Those of you on a Premium level membership received a link to our Power Point presentation which included the graphic above along with many more taken from our early July market trends analysis. Our next questionnaire will begin on Monday, July 18th. If you would like to be added to those invited to take our survey please contact me at:

If you would like information about becoming a Premium subscriber either as an upgrade or as a new account please feel free to reach out to us at: or 800-432-3475.

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