Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

I am in California as we are conducting our 21st Steel 101 workshop. We have a great group coming as far away as New Jersey in the East, Singapore to the West, Washington state, Oregon, Indiana, Michigan, Texas and many more states.

I want to thank California Steel Industries (CSI) and John Walburg for a great tour of their facilities. We did switch to a morning tour instead of our usual afternoon tour due to the weather threatening 100 degree temperatures (it was 101 yesterday). The weather cooperated and we had a great tour of the mill.

We passed a milestone yesterday which was the day that our registrations for the SMU Steel Summit Conference exceeded last year’s record. We will set a new record for attendance and with more than 9 weeks left to go we still expect more than 500 people (outside chance for 600 if you all sell the conference) and probably close to 250 companies. Come join us in Atlanta on August 28, 29 & 30th. Details are on our website here.

Tim Triplett and I will be in New York City on Monday and Tuesday next week. We do have some open time to meet with you on Tuesday mid-morning and early afternoon. You can reach me at to set up a time or you can text me while in New York at 770-596-6268.

My condolences to the family of Norm Gottschalk who was one of the pillars of the steel industry as the CEO of Marmon Keystone. Mr. Gottschalk died earlier this week and he will be missed by his family, friends and those in the industry.

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

John Packard, Publisher

Latest in Final Thoughts

Final thoughts

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.

Final thoughts

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?