Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

The Bureau of Industry and Security today denied the exclusion exemptions for two mills: California Steel Industries and Evraz. At this point, we are expecting the NLMK USA and JSW USA exclusion requests to be denied as well. However, a trade attorney (not Lewis) suggested that we not move too fast with any proclamations. There are some interesting circumstances associated with the JSW request. JSW, unlike the other re-rollers, is in the process of building a new EAF at their Baytown, Texas, plate and pipe plant and they just refurbished an idle EAF at Mingo Junction facilities. The Mingo Junction EAF is producing slabs for their hot strip mill and has been up and running for a couple of months now. NLMK also owns a mill that produces steel for their Portage, Ind., facility, and they are buying slabs from U.S. Steel.

John Packard Summit 18Today, I recruited another attorney to be on our trade panel for the 2019 SMU Steel Summit Conference. Alan Price of Wiley Rein LLP, a firm that represents the domestic steel industry, will join Phil Bell, president of the Steel Manufacturers Association, and trade attorney Lewis Leibowitz along with one yet-to-be-named panelist. I am looking at this panel to be in a debate format as opposed to long statements. There will be much to cover regarding trade when we get to late August. About the only thing that’s sure about trade and trade policy – expect the unexpected.

Registration is open, we are slightly above last year’s pace when we had 912 attendees, all but one of our sponsorship spots have been allocated, and we have just a handful of exhibition areas left. Our agenda is now on the website and will be updated weekly. Go to for more information. Remember, hotel rooms at special rates are only available until our room blocks are sold out. Register for the conference and hotels early. If you have any questions about the conference, you can chat with Brett Linton at 706-216-2140. You are also welcome to shoot me an email:

Steel buyers need to be aware that imports of flat rolled products are expected to continue to decline in the coming months. This decline, along with a strong economy, lower service center inventories, and steel mills that are well above 80 percent capacity utilization rates on flat rolled mean any disruption in production could spark a run on steel. The new capacities are aimed at 2020 and 2021, not the first half 2019. Listen carefully to the tone of your salesperson’s voice as well as what they are telling you. Keep reading Steel Market Update and we will do our best to keep you abreast of the latest moves and trends affecting pricing.

If you would like to renew your membership, upgrade your membership, add more people to your membership, or become a new member (subscriber), the person to contact is Paige Mayhair at 724-720-1012 or

I will be traveling for the balance of this week, to Minnesota of all places. I will have limited access to phone and it may take me some time to return emails.

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

John Packard, President & CEO

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