Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

First, I must warn steel buyers that the USW may be losing patience with U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal USA. We are monitoring the individual locals and we will report when we think something is going to break. The question right now is how long a leash is the union offering? As I said the other day, President Trump did not do U.S. Steel and AMUSA any favors by announcing tariffs on steel when he did. You have to make hay when you can which puts the leverage with the union members… Stay tuned.

It has been awhile since I spoke about some of the proprietary products Steel Market Update produces on a regular basis. Over the years, we have probed the market through various means to better understand market trends and what is driving steel prices, demand, supply, negotiations, etc.

Twice a month, once at the beginning and then again toward the middle, SMU conducts a survey of qualified buyers and sellers of flat rolled and plate steels. Currently, we have about 620 people from the industry on the list of those who are invited to participate. We like to refer to the survey as the SMU Steel Market Trends Analysis. We have been conducting these surveys since late 2008, or shortly after SMU began as a company.

The survey provides us with a plethora of data points and looks at the industry from different perspectives. Since my background includes 31 years of active steel selling experience, I try to use my insights into the industry as a way of evaluating what is important to research at any point in time. This allows SMU to focus on the relevant items affecting the market.

We provided three examples of detail that comes from our survey in this evening’s issue of SMU. Our SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index has shown itself to be a valuable indicator for the industry. Also of value are our SMU Mill Lead Times and Mill Negotiations indices.

There are many other data points and proprietary items that come out of our Steel Market Trends Analysis. They are available to those who participate in our survey ( if you would like to be added) as well as our Premium Level members ( if you would like information about becoming a Premium subscriber).

I will be out of the office on Friday (tomorrow). If you have any questions, please reach out to Brett Linton ( or Tim Triplett (

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

John Packard, President & CEO

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