Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

Nope, I have not yet changed my position on the flat rolled market and where I am seeing momentum. Demand is good, sentiment is just “ok” for lack of a better term. I am seeing a little weakness in the plate market, but come on, the spread between plate and hot rolled is way too far apart. Something had to give.

I expect inventories to come down when we do our analysis with our service center data providers early next month. Our plan is to have our “flash” report back to data providers by no later than Friday, Feb. 8. We will have the full report to the data providers the following week. We are not giving the data to the market right now due to the transition we have done with our data providers. We are collecting much more data than before, and our reports will be much more valuable in the months ahead because of it. If your service center is interested in becoming a confidential inventory data provider, please contact me at

I am in the office most of the day on Friday. Next week I will be in Starkville, Miss., as we conduct another sold-out Steel 101 workshop. A special thank you to SDI Columbus for allowing our group to tour the Columbus steel mill and paint line. I am looking forward to seeing Don Switzer and the SDI team on Tuesday of next week.

As I mentioned in our last newsletter, our intention is to do our next Steel 101 workshop in early April. Originally, we were going to do it in Baytown, Texas, and tour the JSW USA Baytown plate and pipe mill. They have asked us to move the dates out to December of this year, so we are working with another mill during that time slot. If your mill is interested in participating / hosting one of our Steel 101 or Steel 201 (AHSS steels) workshops, please let me know. We enjoy exposing our attendees to new mills, new ideas and new people. This industry still believes in the power of networking…

…Speaking of networking, the premier steel networking event in the flat rolled and plate steel industries this year will be held in Atlanta on Aug. 26-28, 2019. We had 912 executives registered for our 2018 event, which was hailed as one of the best steel conferences – ever. The SMU team, and our partners at CRU, are working very diligently to make the 2019 conference better than last year. So far, I am very pleased with the way the agenda is shaping up. Anybody can put on a conference; only our team can couple the best networking in North America with the finest speakers and agenda all in one place at one time. Registration for the 2019 SMU Steel Summit Conference is open and in full swing. Come join us!

For those of you who are on a trial of our newsletter – you can get information about becoming a member (subscriber), and become part of the SMU family, by contacting Paige Mayhair at 724-720-1012. If you are already a member and you would like to learn more about upgrading your account, Paige is the one to contact. Of course, I am always available to answer any questions you might have.

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

John Packard, President & CEO

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