Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

We are now one week away from the start of the 2018 SMU Steel Summit Conference. We are continuing to accept registrations, and we expect the conference to be completely full when we kick off at 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 27. If you would like to register, you can do so on our website or by contacting our office at 772-932-7538.

We have a very strong program from beginning to end. We start on Monday with a timely program on trade, duties and tariffs. We have trade attorney Lewis Leibowitz and Jean Carrol Kemp who is Steel Manufacturers Association Senior Vice President, Government Affairs and Trade Policy. They will begin with some opening statements, but their real purpose is to answer those nagging questions you might have about Section 232, AD/CVD, exclusions and the exclusion process, Turkey, China or whatever else you have on your mind. We have extended this segment from 45 minutes to 75 minutes to make sure we get to as many questions as possible. Reminder, this program begins at 1 p.m., not 1:30 p.m., as we originally planned.

Steel SummitOn Wednesday, we have an incredibly solid group of speakers and topics. We start with Dr. Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics. He is followed by my one-on-one discussion with Nucor CEO John Ferriola. Then our manufacturing panel will forecast business in a number of key markets and, since I saw the slides from one of the panelists already, I expect a lively discussion from this group. After lunch, we have CNBC political and economic analyst Ron Insana. We will end the program with a one-on-one discussion with CRU Executive Chairman Robert Perlman, followed by a panel where we add Research Manager Chris Houlden and Principal Analyst Josh Spoores of the CRU Group as we discuss the SMU and CRU HRC indexes and much more about the two companies.

I highly recommend you download the Steel Market Update Events App, which can be found at your smart phone store. The App is free, but it will only work for those who are registered for the conference (with their correct email address). If you are having any issues, it is best to address them prior to the conference, which you can do by contacting Brett Linton at We will have an exhibition table that Brett will be manning for those who are having issues at the conference. Once you have downloaded the App, open it up and answer the two questions we have in the activity section (little house in bottom left). For that matter, I think the two questions are the first things you see when you open the App. After you answer the questions, you can view how everyone else is responding and you can go back to the questions over the course of the week to see how the results have changed. We will review these two questions “live” at the beginning of the conference on Tuesday morning.

Asteel 201K Steel has advised me that they will have a number of their people involved in our Steel 201: Introduction to Advanced High Strength and Other New Steels workshop. Besides our instructors, metallurgist Chuck McDaniels and sales/purchasing experts Doug Bernd and Steve Painter, we will have the following people from AK Steel:

JB Chronister – General Manager, Products and Marketing
Giuseppe Laviano – Manager, Branding/Advertising
Brian Williamson – Manager, Carbon Products/Marketing
George Paraskos – Corporate Manager, Customer Technical Services
Jeremy Hansman – Research and Innovation Engineer
Paul Shefcyk – Manager, Applications Engineering
Lianne Hall – Commercial, Administrative Support, HQ
Carolyn McCabe – Research Administrative Support, RIC

There will be plenty of people to answer any question you might have. To register, go to: or contact our office at 772-932-7538. We have special pricing for SMU member companies, those who have been to previous SMU workshops or one of our conferences. To obtain the discounted price, please enter special201 into the discount box when registering online.

Our publication schedule will be normal this week. The week of the conference, our Sunday and Tuesday issues may be limited to a degree since our entire staff will be in Atlanta.

On Monday, Aug. 20, we will be conducting our mid-August flat rolled steel market trends analysis. We will publish the results in a PowerPoint presentation for our Premium members on Friday. We will also publish a number of articles from the survey in the Thursday and next Sunday Executive issues.

I will be leaving for Atlanta on Wednesday of this week and will be out of my office until Friday, Aug. 31.

I look forward to seeing and speaking to as many of you as possible at this year’s conference.

I also want to mention that CRU will host their North American Steel Conference in Chicago on Oct. 1-3 at the Swissotel. You can get details by clicking here.

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

John Packard, President & CEO

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