Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


There is a wide variance between what the MSCI reported for flat rolled inventories this week and what Steel Market Update reported on Sunday. As we look at our numbers, the mega service centers tended to carry less inventories (based on months of supply, not in total tons) than the medium and smaller distributors that are included in our index. We continue to add service centers and to refine our data and data collection. If you are interested in participating in our index, you can reach me at: John@SteelMarketUpdate.com

This evening, the U.S. Department of Commerce released new license data results through Sept. 19, and the licenses picked up over the past seven days. The new numbers have foreign steel imports moving toward another 3 million net ton month. We will have a full break-out of the report in Thursday’s issue of Steel Market Update.

I was discussing imports during the HARDI steel conference call earlier today. So, I want to let those interested in galvanized imports know that September is trending toward a 250,000+ net ton month. Hot rolled is trending toward 150,000+ net tons. Slabs licenses have picked up and are trending toward 700,000 net tons.

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John Packard, Publisher

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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.