Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

I understand from steel buyers there are some mills looking for business – especially on galvanized. There has been some very minor slippage ($10/ton) with some mills’ base pricing. Not enough to drive numbers lower than what we published on Tuesday.

There are some service centers getting aggressive with coated steel spot pricing to their customers. One wholesaler reported to me earlier this week that mechanical contractors looking for multiple truckloads are finding at least one very hungry service center. At the same time, that same buyer told me their business was great in June, good in July and they expect to “true-up” in August.

We are also learning that steel buyers who are on contracts don’t have a clue how to negotiate 2019 contracts. This was probably made even more problematic after President Trump’s announcement that the administration is working on a deal with the European Union to remove all tariffs and USTR Lighthizer saying the NAFTA deal would be signed prior to the new Mexican president taking office in December.

One more item that we haven’t spoken about much is the expiration of the union contracts at U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal (Sept. 1, 2018). This is something we are watching carefully and will be reporting on in the coming days and weeks.

There are now 32 days until the start of the 8th SMU Steel Summit Conference, which will be held in Atlanta on Aug. 27-29. We have broken through the 800 registered executives level. Our original goal was to break through last year’s record attendance, which was 650 attendees, and to register 750-800 attendees for 2018, and we’ve exceeded the original goal. I want to thank all of the companies and individuals who will be attending this year’s conference.

For those registering at the last minute, be aware that we have rooms blocked at the Atlanta Airport Marriott, which is located about a mile from the Georgia International Convention Center. SMU has arranged for transportation from the hotel to the convention center and back during conference hours. You can make hotel reservations for $151 per night through this link or by calling the conference hotel block reservation phone number: 1-888-239-1203.

I want to remind everyone about our new Steel 201: Introduction to Advanced High Strength & Other New Steels workshop. This is a rare opportunity to tour the AK Steel Research and Innovation Center, as well as their fully integrated steel mill in Middletown. This workshop is suitable for new as well as experienced buyers, sellers and management in manufacturing, distribution and toll processing. You can find more details and register at or by contacting our office at 772-932-7538.

You are also welcome to contact me with any questions you might have. I am traveling all day on Friday and can be reached on my email: or you can reach out to me on Monday at 800-432-3475.

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

John Packard, President & CEO

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