Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

I am excited for you, our customers. I have been working closely with the CRU Group, and our members will begin to see some subtle changes to the articles we write. One will be the use of CRU data on such items as our Foreign vs. Domestic Price Spread articles, which we will publish in our Sunday evening issue. We will move away from SteelBenchmarker and Platts data as we are quite comfortable relying on our parent company’s data, which is the recognized leader for steel indices. The other thing we are beginning to see is the value of their analysts as we work on projects of our own. For example, this evening we wrote about the new circumvention suits filed by the domestic steel mills. The CRU Group analysts wrote a report at the end of May regarding how the circumvention suits were impacting Vietnam and China exports. We will be able to add their commentary, when appropriate, to our articles.

Even so, CRU will not be influencing the subject matter or articles that we write daily. We will continue to develop our own content and we will continue to be “timely” as we talk about what is important to know today that might impact your buying and selling decisions.

SMU has three articles in tonight’s issue that are being shared for the very first time with our readers. The “Imports by Region” articles on hot rolled, cold rolled and hot-dipped galvanized will be going to our Premium level members in the future, but we wanted to share with everyone so you can get a sense of some of the content you would receive as a Premium customer. If you would like to learn more about how to take your Executive membership to Premium, please contact us at: or by phone: 800-432-3475.

SMU has gotten suggestions from our readers over the past couple of weeks and we are acting on those suggestions. One was about taking a more detailed look into all of the trade cases (AD/CVD, Circumvention, 232, 301, etc.) and where they stand at any point in time. We are working on an Excel spreadsheet that we can share once per month (or possibly make available on our website). By the way, we already have all of the antidumping and countervailing duty final determinations on our website. Just sign into the site and go to the Resources tab and scroll down to Trade Cases. You can then go to hot rolled, cold rolled, CORE (corrosion resistant – galvanized/Galvalume) or plate. This is the link to hot rolled:

If you have been an avid reader of Steel Market Update, you should not be surprised to see more “circumvention” suits being filed. Even with the Section 232 tariffs of 25 percent (which the domestic mills did not ask for, but gladly took when given), the mills will continue to go after countries they see as trying to circumvent the U.S. system or countries that are “surging” in their exports to the United States. The three suits filed this week will not be the last filed by the domestic steel mills. Steel buyers have to do your homework and know whose substrate is being used for the cold rolled or coated steel you are getting from foreign suppliers. In the paragraph above, SMU is providing the data as to what countries and mills are subject to AD/CVD duties and what those deposit rates/duties are for each.

If you have trade-related questions, please send them to me: and I will do my best to answer them or will share your questions with Washington, D.C., trade attorney Lewis Leibowitz.

A note about trade, questions about tariffs, quotas, AD/CVD, Section 301 and circumvention – SMU has expanded our opening program on Monday, Aug. 27. This is the first day of the 2018 SMU Steel Summit Conference in Atlanta. Originally, I had scheduled Lewis Leibowitz to answer questions beginning at 1:30 PM. With the subject becoming more complicated by the day, and not wanting the program to be too one-sided, I have asked Philip Bell, President of the Steel Manufacturers Association, to pull double duty this year and be on a panel with Lewis. I will most likely moderate the panel. The goal is not to debate the trade rulings, but rather to better understand what exists and how each will impact trade, steel mills, manufacturers, service centers, etc.

While I am talking about the SMU Steel Summit Conference, registrations are quickly approaching 650 executives. To put that into perspective, we had 650 attendees at last year’s conference…. It is not too late to register. You can do so on our website: or through our office: 772-932-7538. We would love to have you join us.  Here are just a few of the companies that registered executives (real decision makers) over the past 48 hours: Feralloy, Ryerson, Samuel Son & Co., Wastequip, Metal Sales Manufacturing, Special Products & Manufacturing Inc., Nucor Tubular Products, Hercules Industries, Goodman Manufacturing, Worthington Industries, B&W Trailer Hitches, Central States Manufacturing, Gulf Coast Supply and Manufacturing, McNichols Company, Diamond C Trailers and SPS Companies. Many of those registering have titles like: CEO, President, CFO, VP Purchasing, VP Sales, Commodity Manager, Director of Worldwide Sourcing….

A note about hotel availability. Our room block at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway (next to GICC) is sold out. Any rooms left will be at full rack rate. We have also sold out our room block at the Atlanta Airport Renaisannce Gateway Hotel. There are a few rooms left at the Atlanta Airport SpringHill Suites Gateway Hotel and we have 93 room left at the nearby Atlanta Airport Marriott Hotel. This hotel will have a shuttle bus running back and forth from the GICC during the conference. You can find information about phone numbers to reach these hotels on our website:

I have the “final” configuration of our brand-new workshop SMU Steel 201: Introduction to Advanced High Strength & Other New Steels. I want to sincerely thank AK Steel for working with SMU to put together what will be a truly unique experience for those attending. The workshop will be held at the new AK Steel Research and Innovation Center. AK Steel executives and metallurgists will join SMU instructors as we discuss advanced high-strength steels (AHSS) and other new steels being developed by AK Steel for automotive and other critical applications. We will discuss the process of taking an “idea” from a manufacturing company to a mill and how the system works to develop a new part or product. We will tour the AK Steel Research and Innovation Center and we will also tour the AK Steel Middletown fully integrated steel mill. The dates for this conference are Sept. 18-19, 2018. We are working on hotels and some of the other details and hope to have registration available by some time next week. Stay tuned to our newsletter and website for details. We expect this workshop to sell out (as have all of our Steel 101 workshops over the past couple of years).

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

John Packard, President & CEO

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