Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

Our last issue sparked our readers to comment on a couple of topics. We addressed the Bayou Steel comments in another article in tonight’s issue. I will address the comments I received from U.S. Steel regarding their purchase of a portion of Big River Steel and the exposure to electrical steels (something I have never sold during my career).

In Tuesday’s issue I made the following comment, “Something to consider – I was speaking to a couple of analysts about Big River Steel and the company is investing a large amount of money into being able to produce electrical steels. This is a product that USS does not make.”

U.S. Steel corrected my misstatement, and I am appreciative of them providing me the accurate information, which I want to share with our readers. A representative of the mill told me, “This is incorrect. U.S. Steel does produce electrical steels, although the product portfolio in the U.S. is limited to cold-rolled motor laminations (CRML), which require a further quality development anneal by the customer.  In Košice, however, USS produces a full portfolio of fully processed non-oriented electrical steels (NOES), both coated and non-coated. Indeed, USSK has a new dynamo line under construction, which will provide additional capacity and enhancements to this product line. Suffice it to say that USS has both well-developed commercial contacts and significant IP in this space.”

One of the advantages our newsletter brings to the flat rolled and plate steel markets specifically, and to the greater steel industry, is an open-door policy. I am comfortable with addressing questions, concerns, corrections and suggestions from any of our readers. One of SMU’s goals is to foster a conversation within your company as well as within the industry.

On Monday I will travel to Cincinnati where we will conduct a sold-out Steel 101 workshop on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Tuesday afternoon we will tour the Nucor Gallatin steel mill. I want to thank the Nucor teammates for working with our program. This will be the first time I have viewed the former Gallatin steel mill, and I am looking forward to seeing the new equipment Nucor has added to improve the facility.

Our Jan. 7-8, 2020, Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop is open for registration. It will be held in Ontario, Calif., and will include a tour of the California Steel Industries steel mill. I expect the weather will be better in California than in the Upper Midwest or Northeastern states…. You can find more information, costs and how to register on our website:

I will be out of town for the entirety of next week. You can reach me via email at or on my cell phone: 770-596-6268 (preferably by text).

I enjoyed speaking to the steel drum manufacturers earlier this week in Naples, Fla. My talk was well received, and I received a note from the organizer telling me “They loved you….” If you are interested in having me speak to your group, you can send me an email at

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

John Packard, President & CEO

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