Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

Trade attorney Lewis Leibowitz advised me earlier this afternoon that the U.S. Department of Commerce did provide a final determination ruling on the Vietnam circumvention complaint. The DOC ruled in favor of the domestic steel mills (affirmative ruling) which means Vietnamese coated steel will be considered to be from China unless there is certification (proof) that the substrate is not from China.

John Packard Steel Summit 2017As David Feldstein pointed out in the hot rolled and scrap futures article he wrote for this evening’s issue, we are one major breakdown at a steel mill away from a shortage of flat rolled steel for the U.S. market. It is important that steel buyers be aware of the issues that exist at not only the mills they use, but at their competitors, as well.

NLMK Executive Vice President James Banker, Jr., told me this afternoon that their Russian parent company was supporting them “100 percent” and they are still getting their normal allotment of slabs.

I saw David Burritt, President & CEO of U.S. Steel, speak earlier this week. He told the conference I was attending that their Granite City “B” blast furnace would not be up until the “second half of this year.” That furnace is capable of producing 100,000 tons of pig iron per month. The “A” blast furnace is not yet scheduled to come back online. The USS CEO did not think it would be back until the “B” furnace was running smoothly.  He suggested that maybe by the end of 2018 the “A” furnace, which is capable of running 60-80,000 tons per month of pig iron, could potentially come back.

One of the issues USS is having at Granite City is workers. They are bringing back workers and going through re-training in preparation of the “B” furnace coming back to life.

Burritt also spoke about the union contract, which expires for both the steel mill facilities and the tubular division on Sept. 1. I will have more on this subject in Sunday’s issue of SMU.

Registrations for SMU Steel Summit are “tickling” 500 executives with 101 days to go. Please reach out to your steel industry friends and let them know that THE place to be and be seen will be at our conference come Aug. 27-29 in Atlanta. Details can be found on our website: or by contacting our office at 800-432-3475.

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

John Packard, Publisher

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