Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

We have adjusted our plate price momentum indicator from neutral to lower. Prices have been dropping over the past couple of weeks, and steel buyers are very negative on the markets right now (see some of the comments in an article above).

John Packard Summit 18I have to tell you I am really struggling with all of the information I am collecting as I try to determine whether flat rolled price momentum is on the side of the steel mills, uncertain, or on the side of the steel buyers. Prices have been sliding recently and did again this week based on the data we collected. At the same time, some steel buyers are reporting extended mill lead times and anticipate higher scrap numbers coming next week (our sources are reporting a “strong sideways” to up $20 depending on the market and product). A few buyers have told SMU the steel mills are becoming more rigid in trying to hold their existing numbers. We are also hearing whispers of a pending price announcement out of the domestic mills as they attempt to stop the slide and stabilize the markets.

We are keeping our flat rolled price momentum indicator at lower for now based on the prices collected this week. However, my gut feel is we are close to a bottom unless the coronavirus begins to affect businesses here in the United States.

Stay tuned.

We will have a total of 27 sponsors for the 2020 SMU Steel Summit Conference. Of these, 20 spots are confirmed and two are tentative. This leaves five spots currently available. I want to say thank you to all our sponsors as well as our exhibitors for this year’s conference. Here are the sponsors for this year’s event:

Platinum Conference Sponsor: Red Bud Industries

Gold Sponsors: Kenwal Steel, Mill Steel, Bank of America, Crowe LLP, Big River Steel, Pacesetter, Heidtman

Silver Sponsors: Delta Steel Technologies, Nucor, Steel Manufacturers Association, BMO, Magic Coil Products, CME Group

Bronze Sponsors: Acero Prime, MidWest Materials, Paragon Steel, Alliance Steel, Ratner Steel

We are waiting for final confirmation of sponsorships from Ternium and Interlake Steamship Company.

If you would like to know what sponsorships are still available, please contact Jill Waldman at 303-570-6570 or by email:

This year we have 36 exhibition booths in our newly expanded exhibition area. Of these, 26 booths have been reserved, leaving 10 available should your company have an interest in reaching out to the anticipated 1,200 executives attending this year’s conference.

The current exhibitors are: XOM Materials, Red Bud Industries, Alcos, Andes Coil Processors, Ryder Dedicated Transportation Solutions, Braner USA, Inc., Riteload, Ryerson, Delta Steel Technologies, Dienes, Bank of America, Reibus, Crowe LLP, Pacesetter, Mobius Risk Group, Big Ass Fans, AkzoNobel Coatings, Inc., Georg, CRU and Steel Market Update.

If you would like to exhibit at this year’s event, please contact Jill Waldman.

Our next Steel 101 workshop is now two-thirds full. We still have seats available for the March 31-April 1 workshop, which will be held in Merrillville, Ind., just outside of Chicago. We will tour the NLMK Portage steel mill. You can find more details by clicking on this link.

A reminder that I will be out of my office beginning Thursday of this week and will not return until Friday of the following week (March 6).

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

Last week was a newsy one for the US sheet market. Nucor’s announcement that it would publish a weekly HR spot price was the talk of the town – whether that was in chatter among colleagues, at the Boy Scouts of America Metals Industry dinner, or in SMU’s latest market survey. Some think that it could Nucor's spot HR price could bring stability to notoriously volatile US sheet prices, according to SMU's latest steel market survey. Others think it’s too early to gauge its impact. And still others said they were leery of any attempt by producers to control prices.