Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


What was it – Tuesday that I said I thought the Section 232 results would be much less than what the steel mills thought a few weeks back? Last night on Air Force One President Trump spoke about considering quotas and tariffs on steel imports into the U.S. According to excerpts of his conversation with reporters, Trump said, “There are two ways – quotas and tariffs. Maybe I’ll do both.” He continued with, “Not only China, but others. We’re like a dumping ground [for steel], okay? They’re dumping steel and destroying our steel industry, they’ve been doing it for decades, and I’m stopping it. It’ll stop.”

I read an article late today from World Trade Online, which was reporting how the domestic steel mills think the G20 steel committee is essentially “kicking the can down the road.” Philip Bell, president of the Steel Manufacturers Association (and another of our speakers at this year’s SMU Steel Summit Conference) told World Trade Online, “At the end of the day, the Global Forum produces a document with recommendations — we need action that has teeth in it.”

The steel mills and the steel lobby are pushing hard for the results of Section 232 to be announced soon (now) and to hit hard at the heaviest exporters of steel into the United States.

Wilbur Ross advised the Senate Finance Committee that he is in the process of finalizing the DOC recommendations to the President. The report should be out sometime next week. One should never wish for black swan events, but all bets are off until we see the recommendations and how President Trump (and the rest of the world) responds.

Steel stocks moved higher today…

SMU Steel Summit Conference sponsors and exhibitors, our Events App is available for you to work with. You should have received instructions on how to download the App, as well as how to update your company data.  (If you have done so in the past, you do not need to do it again.) There are 508 contacts loaded into the App, which represents our registrations through Wednesday.

To those of you who are registered to attend our conference, we will be rolling out the App in Sunday evening’s edition. If you downloaded the App previously, you do not need to do it again (assuming it is still on your phone). The App is available in iTunes or your favorite smart phone/iPad App store. It is the Steel Market Update Events App.

The App looks like the image we have in this article.

When you first open the App, there will be a few very easy polling questions we would like for you to answer. That way, once we get to the conference, we will have a good idea of who is attending, if this is their first conference, and how the group feels about the government being involved in steel imports. All responses are confidential.

We have two more exhibition spots available for those who are interested. Please contact Ray.Culley@SteelMarketUpdate.com if you would like details and pricing.

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.