My sources are telling me the electric arc furnace at JSW Ohio (former Mingo Junction) is almost ready to run. The company has been training and doing dry run testing, and I am being told they have enough crews to run 24 hours a day once the furnace comes back online. It appears the goal is to do their first melt next week. JSW expects to be rolling orders for December production. I was told that the pricing of hot rolled coming from their own melt would be much closer to the CRU number than what they have been selling their slab rollings for. I have been invited to visit the mill, which I intend to do once the EAF is up and they are producing hot rolled from scrap and pig iron and not just rolling slabs.
I did not pick up any $37.50/cwt hot rolled numbers this week. It appears the bottom end of the range is holding with the possible exceptions of slabs being rolled out of JSW and some of the trading company slab toll processing done out of AK Steel. The range seems to be tightening as steel buyers hold back to see what the mid-term election results will be; what will happen to tariffs on Mexico, Canada and Turkey; and whether their inventories are lining up with expectations.
Steel buyers have been almost unanimous in telling me the flat rolled price increases have not stuck. Many have echoed the thoughts of Jim Banker at NLMK USA when he told us a couple of weeks back that the announcement was a bit premature.
I was asked earlier today if our Steel 101 workshop, which will include a tour of the SDI Columbus steel mill and paint line, will have more information during the class sections about painted steel. Our goal is to add a segment on prepainted steel to our normal program, since SDI has a paint line at their facility. You can find more information about the Jan. 29-30, 2019, workshop on our website: www.SteelMarketUpdate.com/Events/Steel101
I keep hearing of more top executives who will be attending the 2019 edition of the SMU Steel Summit Conference in Atlanta. We promise another exceptional conference and the best networking event you will see during calendar year 2019. The dates to keep blocked on your calendar: Aug. 26-28.
As always, your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update.
John Packard, President & CEO
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