'Twas a Challenging Year for Steel...a Poem

Written by Tim Triplett

In the spirit of the season, Keith Gunter of McElroy Metal offers the following poetic look back at the year in steel:


‘Twas almost Christmas and all through the land,

Steel increases were announced but will they all stand?

Buyers are wary as steel mills try to pounce,

Is this for real, or just another dead cat bounce?


We all started the year with high inventory to chew,

Due to the 2018 panic of Section 232.

Devaluing this really hurt the bottom line,

Most everyone suffered this profit decline.


Demand was pretty good and imports were less,

But prices keep going down causing some stress.

So, some capacity was shuttered, some may not come back,

The mills had to do something to get back on track.


Some questioned the indexes, if they reflected what’s real,

They have typically been accurate with what they reveal.

More discipline needed with volumes and timing of orders accepted,

Very likely the reason why folks were adversely affected.


Next year will be interesting with upcoming presidential election,

There is a lot to consider as we make our selection.

Leading up to this we should move forward with decisions,

And not wait for the outcome to influence our vision.


One thing is for sure, our industry will continue to be strong,

There are always ups and downs and challenges to come along.

The future for steel still looks to be bright,

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.

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