Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

Good evening from Memphis, Tennessee and Ocseola, Arkansas home of Big River Steel. Earlier today our Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop held our class on the steel making and rolling process. The morning session was then followed by a trip to Osceola and a tour of the brand new (so much so that there is still ongoing construction) Big River Steel mill. I want to thank Mark Bula and Mark Orvis and all of the people at Big River Steel for their support of our Steel 101 program. It is unusual for new people to the industry to get to tour a steel mill, never mind one that is brand new with the “tags” still on… We will have more about our tour and Big River Steel in Thursday evening’s edition of SMU.

We have instituted a weekly update of the Chinese steel industry using a number of the sources we have had for many years as well as some new ones. One of the trading sources that I know well personally from my days as a steel trader sent me a note earlier this morning which speaks volumes about the changes occurring within the steel industry in China, “I am more busy now selling equipment from bankrupt/closed mills than Steel exports John. Amazing times we live in where we were selling product from mills 2-3 years ago and now selling their equipment in Middle East, EU etc.. Most if the equipment is only 4-5 years old.”

Steel buyers were complaining to SMU about the pace of the price increase announcements and now the coating extras changes, “The mills are going for the jugular” is how one steel buyer described the market. Buyers now believe momentum is on the side of the steel mills and more increases will follow. “I expect $600 hot rolled by mid-December” one buyer told us this afternoon.

Steel Dynamics also advised their customers today of their intention to adjust coating extras. We also saw NLMK USA take their prices up to $560 HR, $780 CR and GI with Nucor and AK Steel announcing +$40 on all flat rolled out of their sheet mills.

We will have a detailed analysis of the MSCI data in Thursday evening’s issue of Steel Market Update. We should have the analysis up on our website by late in the day on Wednesday as I travel from Memphis to Las Vegas to attend the ASD annual meeting and conduct a two-hour version of our Steel 101 workshop at FabTech on Friday morning (Las Vegas Convention Center 8 AM – 10 AM). Traveling with me will be John Eckstein, one of my Steel 101 instructors. If you are in Las Vegas for FabTech come join us. FabTech titled the program: Steel Metal 101: Mill to Fabricator. Shoot me an email if you are having problems finding the class:

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

John Packard, Publisher

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