Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

On Monday, we will begin our mid-January flat rolled and plate steel market trends questionnaire, and by the end of the week we will publish our analysis. Our Premium level members will be able to review our analysis, which will be presented in a PowerPoint presentation on Friday. Those who participate in this week’s questionnaire will also be granted access to the presentation. If you would like to be added to our invitation list, or if you would like to learn more about becoming a Premium subscriber, please contact us at

John Packard Summit 18I am deep in the process of putting together this year’s conference program. We are beginning to get responses to our invitations to speak, and the quality of the speakers we have confirmed so far is exceptional. Many of you already know of Dr. Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics. Beaulieu has been a fixture at our conferences since we moved to Atlanta many years ago. He is the best economic forecasting speaker I have seen, and I believe our attendees agree. Here is a video of Beaulieu from the 2019 Conference.

On Friday, I confirmed the keynote speaker for the youth segment of our program. His name is Ryan Avery and he is a fantastic speaker. I heard him speak twice at a recent HARDI conference, and I was duly impressed both with his skills as a speaker, and with the message he will share about companies attracting and keeping young leaders in their organizations. In 2012, Avery was the youngest winner of the prestigious World Championship of Public Speaking, besting more than 10,000 other speakers. Now in his early 30s, he will not disappoint. He will be speaking in the 1 p.m. slot on Wednesday as we kick off how to attract, train and maintain young people into your company. We will have three segments on this topic on Wednesday afternoon. Be sure to make plans to stay just a little longer. I promise you will not be disappointed. Here is a link to Ryan Avery website, and some of his videos.

We have already registered five times more people for the 2020 SMU Steel Summit Conference than we did at this time last year for the 2019 event. Last year we topped out at 1,078 attendees. This year we expect close to 1,200 as the word is out – the SMU Steel Summit Conference is THE place to see and to be seen in the industry. You can register by clicking on this link. You can learn more about the conference and see what companies attended last year by going to

Speaking of registration being open, we also are registering those interested in attending our next Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals Workshop which will be held in Merrillville, Ind., (just outside of Chicago) on March 31 and April 1, 2020. We will tour the NLMK Portage electric arc furnace steel mill. For more details go to

We are moving closer to Feb. 1, 2020, which is the date when prices will increase on subscriptions for our Executive and Premium newsletters. If you would like to maintain current prices, you can do so by contacting Paige Mayhair at 724-720-1012 or by email To keep prices as they are, payment will need to be received prior to Feb. 1.

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

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.