Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


The domestic steel mills did not cancel scrap orders for April delivery that had not yet arrived. This is a sign that the steel mills believe prices will be sideways to slightly higher for May delivery than what they negotiated for April. All is quiet as the steel mills and their scrap suppliers jockey for position. Last night we were advised to watch prime grades of scrap in Canada and the Ohio/Detroit markets due to the outage at the EAF at ArcelorMittal Dofasco and the planned maintenance on the “B2” furnace at USS Great Lakes. When I discussed this with a couple of my scrap sources in the area they told me these were “non-issues” as the EAF will be back in service within the next couple of days and the Delta mill was a bigger factor for scrap prices in the Detroit market. We do expect to have some information on May ferrous scrap prices on Thursday and we will advise at that time.

The U.S. Department of Commerce initiated a dumping suit against steel tool boxes from China and Vietnam. Companies who manufacturer products overseas need to be aware that it only takes one company (or the DOC itself to “self-initiate”) to file a dumping suit to create all kinds of problems for your company. In the case of the tool boxes from China it was Waterloo Industries in Missouri.

I have confirmed with trade attorney Lewis Leibowitz and Daniel Pearson, Fellow at Cato Institute and former ITC Chairman, that they will be conducting a discussion about the various ways trade cases can be initiated and how each one works. Specifically, I have asked them to help our SMU Steel Summit attendees understand Section 232, Section 337, Section 201, Antidumping (AD) and Countervailing Duty (CVD), Circumvention and the concept of “self-initiation” by the U.S. government. This education session will be held as one of the two Pre-Summit Conference programs we will have on Monday, August 28th at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway Hotel (our conference host hotel) located next to the Georgia International Convention Center (www.gicc.com). This program will begin at 2 PM ET at the Marriott Hotel. Registration (picking up your credentials) will begin at 1 PM in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel. Leibowitz and Pearson will also be part of a “free and fair trade” panel at 3 PM on Tuesday at the Convention Center along with Philip Bell, President of the Steel Manufacturers Association and one other speaker representing the manufacturing community.

As I mentioned the other day our room block at the Marriott Gateway Hotel is filling fast. We had 80 rooms left as of last week. We have plenty of rooms at the SpringHill Suites hotel across the street. If you are “budget minded” it is best to book now before all of the special rate rooms are taken…

We still have plenty of seats left for our next Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop in Ontario, California. Details are on our website or you can contact me in my office: 800-432-3475 or John@SteelMarketUpdate.com

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.