Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

SMU’s Steel Summit Conference hotel room block has been sold out at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway, Atlanta Airport Renaissance and SpringHill Suits Gateway hotels. I am sure there are rooms at these hotels, but they will no longer honor our blocked hotel rates and will charge the rack rates. We have added another Marriott hotel, which is located about a mile away from the convention center. We hope to have a phone number and link for that hotel early this week.

If you did not read the Big River Steel press release about their involvement in the Artificial Intelligence meeting held at the White House last week, at the end of the article we noted Steve Pratt, CEO of, will be speaking at our conference this year. is one of the key intelligence companies working with Big River Steel. You will want to plan to attend the Pre-Summit portion of our program. The Pre-Summit program begins at 1:30 PM on Monday, Aug. 27, and finishes off with a networking/cocktail party beginning at 4 PM.

I will be in Miami on Tuesday and Wednesday as I am on a panel at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch metals and mining conference.

Our June 5 & 6 Steel 101 workshop is sold out and we have a waiting list. I know someone asked me about the workshop at the Boy Scout Dinner. Please send me a note as to your request and I will see what I can do to help. A special thank you to Doug Rife of Nucor and all of the Nucor associates at their Hickman and Nucor-Yamato steel mills.

I spoke with AK Steel on Friday and they have confirmed that their Middletown fully integrated steel mill and research facility will be the location of our next steel training workshop. I haven’t given the workshop a name yet as it will be a Steel 101 on steroids. We will concentrate on advanced high-strength steel (AHSS) and other products under development at AK Steel. I want to thank JB Chronister and AK Steel CEO Roger Newport for working with Steel Market Update on this workshop.

The dates for the AK Steel workshop will be Sept. 18-19, 2018. We are working out the hotel details and the exact agenda for this workshop as it will be much different than our normal Steel 101 workshops. My expectation is for this workshop to attract experienced people working with automotive, appliance and service centers who handle high-end flat rolled products for those and similar industries. Please watch this newsletter and our website for more details and for how to register.

I am working with Don Switzer and his Steel Dynamics, Columbus, Miss., team on another special Steel 101 workshop, which will be held early in 2019. We are planning a workshop with a special focus on pre-painted steels along with HRC, CRC, galvanized and Galvalume steels produced at the SDI Columbus steel mill. Thank you to Steel Dynamics for the support they have given SMU over the years. We have not selected dates for this workshop, but I am leaning toward late January 2019.

If you have not yet had time to respond to our online questionnaire, we would very much appreciate you taking just a few moments. It would help us to continue to provide products you want and to identify areas where we could improve. Please click on this link to begin the survey:

On Monday, we will begin our mid-May flat rolled steel market trends analysis with another survey.  If you receive an invitation to participate, please take a few moments to complete the process.  If you would like to be added to our invite list, please contact us at

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

John Packard, Publisher

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