Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

We are working on an article about what companies are doing with the tax windfall they will be receiving this year. We have noticed a couple of companies like Mill Steel that are giving their employees a bonus check. We would like to include your company in our article should you be doing something special for your employees (raises, bonuses, etc.). Please send any comments, press releases to:

We have a few spots left in our March 28-29 Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop, which will be held just outside of Chicago in Merrillville, Ind. Included will be a tour of the NLMK Portage steel mill. Details can be found on our website:

The Department of Commerce submitted the Section 232 report and recommendations on steel on Jan. 11. By my calculations, we are 28 days into the 90 days that President Trump has to make his announcement.

Here are some of my travel plans over the next couple of months. If you would like to meet with me during the Port of Tampa Conference or the FMA Annual Meeting, please shoot me an email at

I will be at the Port of Tampa Steel Conference on Feb. 19-21.

I will be at the FMA Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., at the end of March.

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

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?