Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

With the announcement of a flat rolled price increase out of USS/POSCO, the table is now set for California Steel on the West Coast (which SMU’s Steel 101 workshop will be visiting on Thursday of this week), as well as the East Coast and Canadian steel mills, to make announcements of their own. Benchmark hot rolled price offers out of the Eastern mills were said to be in the $600-$610 range. A $50 per ton move would put the offers somewhere around $650 per ton (+/- $30 per ton). The market peaked earlier this year at a $655 per ton average, according to our own index.

The steel industry has been assuming the Section 232 investigation on steel is going to be a “slam dunk” for the mills. Don’t count your chickens until the fat lady sings. First, we need to see the recommendations from Commerce which won’t happen until Congress is briefed (and the briefing keeps getting pushed out due to push back from Treasury, Defense and others). If the recommendation is “radical” there will be all kinds of manufacturing feedback to the White House which could delay or change President Trump’s final announcement of remedies. Then, as trade attorney Lewis Leibowitz explained to SMU late last week, the fun starts. The fun will be all of the maneuvering by the legal community to block implementation (similar to the President’s travel ban).

We have a very diverse group attending our upcoming Steel 101 workshop, which will be held in Ontario, Calif., later this week. I want to thank California Steel for opening up their mill to us once again. We will keep our fingers crossed that the projected 90+ temperatures hold off long enough for our group to get the mill tour in. We changed our schedule to tour in the morning rather than the afternoon due to the long-range weather forecast calling for hot temps (may be a good day to go to the beach on Saturday).

A note that we will be conducting our mid-June flat rolled steel market analysis beginning at 8 a.m. ET on Monday, June 19. Please check your inbox to see if you are on the invitee email list. If you are, please take a few minutes to click on the link/button that will take you to, which hosts our questionnaire. A reminder that we share much of the results from the questionnaire with those who participated on Friday afternoon once we have crunched the numbers and put them into a historical context.

If you would like to be added to our invitee list for the twice monthly flat rolled and plate survey please shoot me an email at:

Another way to access the survey results is by becoming a Premium level member. Current Premium membership rates are $2,095 for one person for one year. Contact us at if you are interested in upgrading. To those of you who are on various trials, another option is our Executive newsletter/website access rate of $1,195 for one year. We would very much appreciate adding you and your company to our membership rolls. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me at 800-432-3475 or by email at

On Wednesday of this week, I will be traveling to California for our Steel 101 workshop on Thursday and Friday. The following Sunday, I will fly to New York City to attend events and network with people around the SSS conference. Tim Triplett will join me in New York on Monday and Tuesday. Please keep an eye out for us at various events or in the Marriott Marquis hotel, which is the location of this year’s SSS conference. If you would like to arrange a private meeting or just sit down and chat for a few minutes, send me an email at or call my office at 800-432-3475 on Monday or Tuesday of this week.

Registrations for the 2017 SMU Steel Summit Conference will soon exceed last year’s attendance record of 434 people. As of Sunday evening, there are 70 days to go and the registrations keep on coming. Here are some of the additional companies that registered on Thursday and Friday of last week: Zeeco Metals, Galvasid (Mexico), Nucor Arkansas, AMICO, Capital Hardware Supply, Zekelman, Central Steel & Wire, Flack Global Metals, L&W Supply, Shivom Jay Steels, Atas International, Hartree Partners, All Metals, Mako Metals and Crown Equipment. Come join the 500-600 expected manufacturing and steel executives who will be gathering with us in Atlanta on August 28-30. Details about the agenda, speakers, convention center, hotels, costs and how to register are on our website: or contact one of our offices: 800-432-3475, 772-932-7538 or 706-216-2140. We look forward to seeing you in ATL.

We are sold out on sponsors for this year but, we do have exhibition space available at reasonable rates. Contact for more details.

Steel Market Update is looking for a couple of good people to join our company and assist us in our growth. These positions are for our corporate headquarters, which are located less than a half mile from the beach on Jupiter Island in lovely Hobe Sound, Fla. I am looking for an accounting person who could ultimately become the company’s CFO. We are also looking for someone with skills to help us produce, market and expand our conference and workshops. A working knowledge of InDesign software and/or experience putting on large conferences and educational workshops would be appreciated. We are also looking for someone to back up our employee extraordinaire Brett Linton who handles most of our statistical development, graphics and analysis for both the newsletter and website. We are also looking for people with video, graphics, webinar and social media skill sets. We are also looking for marketing & sales skills regarding building our newsletter, workshops and conference. Positions may be full or part-time. If you would like more information, please contact us at or by phone at 800-432-3475 or 772-932-7538.

As always, your business is truly appreciated by all of us 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.