Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

I want to take a moment to thank John Walburg and the entire California Steel Industries team for their support of our Steel 101 workshop, which we just completed. The Fontana, Calif., steel mill tour was the highlight for many of our Steel 101 workshop attendees, and I want to personally thank CSI for allowing us to view their facility (and for dialing up 70-degree temperatures and sunny skies).

John Packard Summit 18An important note regarding subscription rates for our Executive and Premium level newsletters. We will be raising our membership costs by approximately 9 percent as of Feb. 1, 2020. SMU has been investing in new products and new people and we need to begin to recover some of our higher cost. February renewals will go out at the new numbers. However, as in past years, we will allow companies to renew their memberships at the existing pricing if paid prior to Feb. 1. This includes companies whose subscriptions may not expire until later in the year. For more details about pricing, when your company is due for renewal, or information about upgrades to your existing membership – please contact Paige Mayhair at 724-720-1012 or by email at

I have been working on the 2020 SMU Steel Summit Conference as well as what we will be trying to accomplish with our “Youth” conference. We have decided to incorporate the Youth Conference into this year’s SMU Steel Summit Conference during the afternoon of the last day of our event. This means our conference will end around 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 26. It will also mean we will have an exceptionally strong and diverse program on Wednesday as we cover economic issues, steel market segment issues, mill cost issues, our special nationally known keynote speaker and then our Youth program, which will include one of the strongest young speakers I have ever seen…

I will be renaming the Youth Conference because the conference is intended for those companies that are having issues attracting, training and retaining young workers. We will not focus on just the steel industry – I believe the program will be valuable for any company that needs to attract new talent. I recommend this portion of our conference for management level people, human resource people, CFO’s, CEO’s, sales, purchasing, operations, logistics – all will get value for what we will be sharing with our attendees.

Since I have been traveling all week, I will be rolling out much more information about the SMU Steel Summit Conference and this new segment in the coming days.

You can find information about registering for the conference on our website: and you can learn more about becoming a sponsor or exhibitor at this year’s event by contacting Jill Waldman at

Our next Steel 101 workshop will be held in Merrillville, Ind. (just outside of Chicago) on March 31 and April 1, 2020. Included in this workshop will be a tour of the NLMK Portage steel mill. This NLMK plant is an electric arc furnace facility, and we have enjoyed touring this plant in the past. We will have registration up in the next one to two working days, and we anticipate this will be another in a long string of sold out Steel 101 workshops. You can learn more 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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Final thoughts

What's the tea in the steel industry this week? Here's the latest SMU gossip column! Just kidding... kind of. Yes, some of the comments we receive in our weekly flat-rolled market steel buyers' survey are honestly too much to put into print. Some make us laugh. Some make us cringe. Some are cryptic. Most are serious. We appreciate them all. Below are some highlights from our survey results this week. Some of the comments that we can share with you are also included, in italics, in the buyers' own words, with minimal editing on our part.