Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


I had a whirlwind weekend having traveled to Cleveland to see family and to attend MidWest Materials’ 65th anniversary. Brian Robbins and his crew did a great job paying homage to their past and current employees. The company is much different today than it was in 1952 when it started. I have a feeling it will be quite different again in just a few years’ time as the pace of change quickens and companies either innovate or struggle to survive.

SMU recently began writing a series of articles about ethics–something that has concerned me during my active sales career and after I began writing Steel Market Update. Almost on cue comes Kobe Steel, which has admitted falsifying data to 500 customers. The exact depth of the deception is not yet known. But the parts went into airplanes, bullet trains and automobiles…. Now, because of the actions of one company on the other side of the world, people are asking questions about products they buy from steel mills everywhere.

I was asked a question during our Steel 101 workshop in Indiana–should we be concerned if the tests done by the mills are accurate? My response then was that no mill would risk their reputation and their ability to look their customers in the face by falsifying test results or certifications. Now there is Kobe Steel….

Our Jan. 24-25, 2018, Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop is beginning to fill up. We are now about one-third full, so we encourage anyone interested in attending to do so. If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to my office. I can be reached at 800-432-3475. We will tour the SSAB Mobile minimill as part of the January workshop.

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

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.