Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

There are reports about a myriad of meetings between the USTR, Mexico and Canada as the sides try to come to some form of resolution regarding the Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum. I continue to hear that the move is to not reduce the traditional level of imports from these two countries. In my mind that means the U.S. is still pushing for quotas.

From time to time we will be publishing CRU-based articles with a “read more” link at the end. If you click on the read more link you will be taken to the CRU website where you can read the article in its entirety. You will not need to sign up or buy anything in order to access the full article. The affected article in this evening’s issue is about the turn in sheet prices and the CRU forecast for future HRC pricing. Of course, you are welcome to look around the CRU website and I am sure they would welcome you as a new customer for their products (they have hundreds…).

Registration is now open for the May 14-15 Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop. This workshop will be held in Davenport, Iowa, and will include a tour of the SSAB steel mill located just outside of Davenport. You can find more details on our website:

Tim Triplett is attending the Platts North American Steel Conference in Chicago and will report on what he heard there in Sunday’s issue.

A quick note to let everyone know I will be traveling all of next week as I head to Monterrey, Mexico, to visit Ternium, which has agreed to host one of our future Steel 101 workshops in Monterrey. I am going down to get the lay of the land, tour one of their mills and interview their CEO.

I have also heard from a mill in Europe, where we are working toward doing our first European Steel 101 workshop later this year.

To say I have been busy would be an understatement. We (CRU and SMU teams) are working on many new projects that include new conferences, workshops and products that will benefit our existing customers and attract new customers. Stay tuned.

If you are on a free trial and would like to become a new subscriber, you can do so by contacting Paige Mayhair at 724-720-1012 or by email at Existing customers can renew or change your membership level through Paige.

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

John Packard, President & CEO

Latest in Final Thoughts

Final thoughts

I’ve had discussions with some of you lately about where and when sheet prices might bottom. Some of you say that hot-rolled (HR) coil prices won’t fall below $800 per short ton (st). Others tell me that bigger buyers aren’t interested unless they can get something that starts with a six. Obviously a lot depends on whether we're talking 50 tons or 50,000 tons. I've even gotten some guff about how the drop in US prices is happening only because we’re talking about it happening.

Final thoughts

We’ve all heard a lot about mill “discipline” following a wave of consolidation over the last few years. That discipline is often evident when prices are rising, less so when they are falling. I remember hearing earlier this year that mills weren’t going to let hot-rolled (HR) coil prices fall below $1,000 per short ton (st). Then not below $900/st. Now, some of you tell me that HR prices in the mid/high-$800s are the “1-800 price” – widely available to regular spot buyers. So what comes next, and will mills “hold the line” in the $800s?