I did a whirlwind trip to Philadelphia along with John Eckstein, one of our Steel 101 instructors, for a speaking engagement with a manufacturing company in the area. We provided a hybrid Steel 101/Steel Market Update presentation to a small group of executives. More and more this is something I am being asked to do and I am receptive to these kinds of speaking engagements as long as they can fit into my calendar. If you have interest in booking myself or members of our team please contact me at: John@SteelMarketUpdate.com.
Two more mills announced new coating extras for galvanized steel. Steel Dynamics (SDI) brought out new prices yesterday and NMLK USA came out with new extras today. We will work on getting all of the new extras and will provide an analysis sometime next week.
Our next flat rolled steel market trends analysis will begin on Monday morning. If you receive an invitation please click on the button contained in the invitation which will take you to our questionnaire hosted by SurveyMonkey.com.
Again, a note about our April Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop is sold out and has a waiting list. We are in negotiations with a couple of mills regarding our next workshop which we anticipate being in late June into mid-July. We are also working on hosting another one in the late September/early October time frame. If you would like information stay tuned to our website or feel free to send us an email at info@SteelMarketUpdate.com.
I want to welcome a few companies who will be sponsoring and/or exhibiting their wares at our 7th SMU Steel Summit Conference at the end of August (28th-30th). Red Bud Industries will be joining us for the first time as a sponsor as will Majestic Steel. The Georgia Ports Authority will be returning as an exhibitor for the second year in a row. We thank you very much for your support of our conference – don’t forget to tell your customers, suppliers and steel friends where you will be at the end of August…
Details about the SMU Steel Summit Conference can be found on our website. We have a large number of speakers committed and we should be loading them onto our website for you to review (I spoke with Brett and he promised to have them up on the website by Friday afternoon).
Registration is open and we encourage those going to make hotel reservations early as we were not able to block enough rooms to accommodate everyone at the $139 special rate at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway hotel which is the HQ for the conference.
As always your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update.
John Packard, Publisher
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Latest in Final Thoughts
I want to give a big shoutout to the good folks at the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association (FMA) for inviting me to their annual conference this week in Clearwater, Fla. I also want to give a special thanks to the FMA for awarding SMU founder John Packard with a lifetime achievement award – on that also gave me a chance to catch up with my old boss in person.
What are some “Black Swans” to watch out for? With the war in Ukraine entering its third year, your mind might understandably move to conflicts overseas. Here is one closer to home to consider: US trade relations with Mexico taking a turn for the worse. I mention that because the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) dropped a (virtual) bombshell earlier this month.
Domestic prices have been sliding since the beginning of the year, and I don’t see any obvious reasons why the slide might stop this week. But let’s put the timing of a bottom aside for a minute. The question among some of you seems to be whether we’ll see another price spike, or at least a “dead-cat bounce,” before the typical summer doldrums kick in.
I’ve had discussions with some of you lately about where and when sheet prices might bottom. Some of you say that hot-rolled (HR) coil prices won’t fall below $800 per short ton (st). Others tell me that bigger buyers aren’t interested unless they can get something that starts with a six. Obviously a lot depends on whether we're talking 50 tons or 50,000 tons. I've even gotten some guff about how the drop in US prices is happening only because we’re talking about it happening.
We’ve all heard a lot about mill “discipline” following a wave of consolidation over the last few years. That discipline is often evident when prices are rising, less so when they are falling. I remember hearing earlier this year that mills weren’t going to let hot-rolled (HR) coil prices fall below $1,000 per short ton (st). Then not below $900/st. Now, some of you tell me that HR prices in the mid/high-$800s are the “1-800 price” – widely available to regular spot buyers. So what comes next, and will mills “hold the line” in the $800s?