Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

Another hectic day in the steel industry – at least for me. Steel buyers seemed to be taking a wait-and-see approach to the market at the moment, but this too will change (it always does). At the moment, I still have our Price Momentum Indicator pointing toward “Lower” spot prices over the next 30 days. The question in my mind is what will be the catalyst to move prices – here on the East Coast I don’t think that catalyst will be the announcements of up $40 by California Steel and USS/POSCO.

John Packard Summit 18I did not have an opportunity to listen in on the Steel Dynamics earnings conference call this morning. One of the steel executives with whom I spoke late this afternoon told me that Mark Millett, CEO of SDI, was upbeat and optimistic about the prospects for 2019.

Interesting to weigh his optimism against the bit of a warning that we got from Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics today (see article on him speaking at this year’s conference). I spoke recently with Lisa Morrison who is the Principal Economist for North America for CRU. She is of the opinion we could see a “stagnating” market come 4Q 2019 or 1Q 2020.

Lisa Morrison and I will be presenting at a private function for a manufacturing company later this year. I want to mention again that Steel Market Update is available to do some limited speaking engagements. If you, or your group, is interested and would like more information or a quote, please contact me at

Our April workshop location is going to be moved due to JSW Baytown’s plans to install a large piece of equipment at the mill during that time. We have rescheduled with JSW to do a December workshop with them in Texas, and we are working with another mill to fill the April time slot. I hope to have information on that over the next few days.

Over the last few days, I have confirmed approximately six speakers – many of whom have never spoken at a SMU Steel Summit Conference in the past. I am very pleased with the way the program is coming together and I believe those of you who attend will be, as well. Yes, we will have a nationally recognized speaker at the end of the day on Wednesday as we have done with Ron Insana of CNBC and Michael Smerconish of CNN previously. Yes, Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics will be there again. Yes, for the first time Steel Market Update and CRU will present some of our proprietary products/indices at the very open of the conference on Monday, Aug. 26.

If you are planning on attending our conference, please be aware of this – the conference will start with a very strong program on Monday beginning at 1 p.m. ET. You will want to get to Atlanta by noon if at all possible. We will have a strong program every day – all the way through to the end, which will be 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday. It is best if you can book your flights to leave ATL at 5 p.m. or later.

Registration is open.  We have begun rolling out our speakers and pieces of our program with this evening’s newsletter. There will be more coming over the next couple of weeks. We expect to announce the theme of the conference and our schedule by early in February. More details can be found at, and this area of our website will be changing over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

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

John Packard, President & CEO

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