Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

As of late this afternoon was reporting zinc spot pricing around $1.22 per pound. Zinc recently reported prices not seen in the past 9 years and those of you buying galvanized and Galvalume steels need to be aware of how zinc is trading. The U.S. steel mills published new extras just as zinc pierced through the $1.10 mark. If zinc climbs much higher (and stays there) there could be further movement in GI extras.

Also, be aware that the .060″ G90 benchmark used by SMU, CRU and others is now being quoted based on the $9 per ton higher extra.

I expect the rest of the domestic steel mills to follow the ArcelorMittal lead and participate in this the 4th price increase since prices reversed course in late October 2016. We have seen prices move from a low of $470 per net ton on hot rolled (average – we collected some numbers as low as $420) to our average of $550 today. Up +$80 in six weeks and for those buying at the low end the increase could be as much as +$130 over those same six weeks. We understand that most of the offers out there this week are $540-$580 and those will most likely move up $20 to $40 per ton in the next day or two.

There are some who think HRC will slow down once it hits $600 per ton and coated products break the $40.00/cwt barrier. The rationality being used is weak, sluggish or weakening demand. I am working on this subject and will publish what I find in Thursday evening’s edition of our newsletter.

Tomorrow we will publish another Premium supplemental issue with Key Market Indicators and Service Center Inventories Apparent Excess/Deficit articles. Both products are proprietary to Steel Market Update.

A note to those interested in attending our next Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop which will be held in Huntsville, Alabama on January 24-25, 2017 and include a tour of Nucor Decatur. The workshop is currently within 3-5 spots of being considered sold out. If you are interested we recommend you register online or through out office (800-432-3475 or 706-216-2140).

A note on my travel schedule. I am in the office all day on Wednesday of this week. On Thursday and Friday I will be out of the office for most of the day. On Sunday I fly to Colorado Springs, Colorado to attend the HARDI conference where I am presenting to their galvanized steel group. I will return on Wednesday evening next week from CO. After that I am staying put through the end of the year.

Even if I am traveling I respond to my emails and I still want to hear from our readers. What do you think about the new price increase? Will it stick? Manufacturing companies what are you doing regarding taking business to China or elsewhere for production of parts? Anybody thinking of re-shoring products? What do you think about Trump and his quest to help the steel industry. Does his administration helping the steel mills end up costing us manufacturing jobs and our competitive edge?

You can email me at:

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

John Packard, Publisher

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