Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

On Friday, SSAB announced another plate price increase. Plate buyers were putting the new “aim to” base price around $700 per ton. Plate prices have been stubborn to move higher. SMU will watch momentum carefully this week to see if prices have finally turned the corner. This weekend I am in New Orleans attending HARDI’s annual conference. I spoke to the sheet metal council this morning about the market and risks that the wholesalers need to consider.

John Packard Summit 18One item I discussed was the spread between hot rolled base pricing and that of galvanized steel. The current spread based on our indices is $190 per ton–well above the historical norms of $100-$140 per ton. We saw huge spreads in the recent past only to have them crash to under $100 per ton.

I also spoke about our Service Center Inventories Flash Report, which was provided to data providers on Friday. There are some definite movements in inventories, and we expect them to continue. To learn more, you will need to become a data provider. You can make a request by contacting Estelle Tran at or myself at

I saw an exceptional speaker on leadership and maintaining millennials in your company. I hope to attract him to one of our 2020 conferences.

Speaking of which–mark your calendars as our 2020 SMU Steel Summit Conference will be held on Aug. 24-26. We will begin our pre-summit workshops at 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 24. More details will be coming out soon.

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

John Packard, President & CEO


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