Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

I had a question from one of our readers regarding capacity utilization rates and if the Big River Steel tonnage is part of the AISI calculation. I have not spoken directly to the AISI on the subject (as of yet) but, I do know that Big River Steel is not a member of the AISI… I expect that when we get the monthly raw steel production report for April we will have our answer about changes in capacity for the U.S. market.

SMU completed our early April flat rolled steel market trends analysis earlier today. We are crunching the numbers and creating the graphics which will go into our Power Point presentation for our Premium level members as well as those who participate in our survey. If you have never seen one of our presentations and you have an interest in the data, or in potentially becoming a Premium level subscriber, please shoot us an email and we will share the report with you. You can send an email to:

I have been struggling with whether I should adjust our SMU Price Momentum Indicator from Higher to Neutral. I have decided to give the market a little while to sort itself out as scrap prices are settled, we see if the met coal situation has any impact on the Asian markets, if iron ore reverses course (it has been dropping in China) and how the mill order books hold up over the next couple of weeks. We already have lowered our indices and, in many cases, have widened our spreads. So, we probably should be at Neutral as just a recognition of reality. I would appreciate it if my readers would weigh in with your opinions. You can reach me at:

Ray Culley, who works with me on our SMU Steel Summit Conference, told me today to make sure to inform those of you who are interested in attending that the Marriott Gateway Hotel room block is already more than 50% sold out. We will not be able to hold the special pricing that we have at the Marriott for an extended period of time. We have a specific room block and then our special pricing will be at the SpringHill Suites across the street. There is a link on the website to the hotel registration site. It is now 143 days until the start of our conference.

I got notes from a number of people that another conference held in late June has told their potential attendees that they have Wilbur Ross as a possible speaker. We have an invitation to the Commerce Secretary as well and we will advise if his assistant advises us if he will be able to make our conference. I will let you know as soon as I have something a little more concrete than what we have now.

A note that I will be in Toledo, Ohio for one of our Steel 101 workshops on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. We are taking registrations for our California Steel 101 workshop which will be held in Ontario, CA on June 22nd and 23rd and will include a tour of the California Steel Industries (CSI) steel mill. You can find more information on our website or you are welcome to contact me at 800-432-3475.

For our Premium level members – we will have our Power Point presentation on the website on Friday afternoon. We will also be publishing a Premium edition of our newsletter tomorrow.

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

John Packard, Publisher

Latest in Final Thoughts

Final thoughts

Last week was a newsy one for the US sheet market. Nucor’s announcement that it would publish a weekly HR spot price was the talk of the town – whether that was in chatter among colleagues, at the Boy Scouts of America Metals Industry dinner, or in SMU’s latest market survey. Some think that it could Nucor's spot HR price could bring stability to notoriously volatile US sheet prices, according to SMU's latest steel market survey. Others think it’s too early to gauge its impact. And still others said they were leery of any attempt by producers to control prices.