Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

There are a lot of moving pieces to the Section 232 tariffs and the negotiations these tariffs have prompted among the countries that have not yet been excluded. Quotas are being discussed with most, if not all countries, with South Korea agreeing to 70 percent of their 2017 shipment levels. You should anticipate that other countries will also agree to quotas.

Of course, there are problems with quotas. Especially for those countries that shipped higher than 2017 levels of steel during first-quarter 2018. Or, maybe it is more appropriate to say buyers of foreign steel are not going to be able to get the foreign steel tons they are used to getting – no matter what the price.

I have been asked a number of times today which countries are not excluded from the Section 232 tariffs. The easiest way to answer that question is to remind everyone of the countries that are excluded. First, the only country now excluded without a May 1 expiration date is South Korea. The other countries that have to be concerned about that expiration date are: Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Australia and the European Union (including the United Kingdom). Russia, China, Taiwan, South Africa, UAE, Vietnam, Turkey, Thailand are all excluded and now liable for the 25 percent tariff.

Registrations for the SMU Steel Summit Conference have broken through 200 executives and are rapidly expanding. We encourage those interested in attending to register early, which you can do on our website: or by contacting our office at 772-932-7538. If you have any questions, please send them to or you can call the office number just provided.

I am in the Chicago area having arrived earlier this evening. SMU is conducting one of our Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshops in Merrillville, Ind. We will be touring the NLMK Portage steel mill on Wednesday, and we are looking forward to interacting with the NLMK team in Portage.

Our next Steel 101 workshop should be a humdinger. It will be held at the Westin Hotel on Beale Street in downtown Memphis. Home of the blues and great barbecue. The dates for this workshop will be June 5 & 6, 2018, and Nucor will be opening up two mills for us to visit. We will go to Nucor Hickman, which is a flat rolled mill, and then over to Nucor-Yamato, which is a beam mill. It has one of their Castrip flat rolled mills there, as well. This will be the first time SMU will get to see a Castrip mill, and we are all looking forward to it. You can find more information and can register on our website: If you have any questions, please send them to: or you can call our office at 772-932-7538.

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

John Packard, Publisher

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