Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

U.S. Steel continues to make interesting moves having now purchased the balance of the ownership in USS/Posco (UPI), 49.9 percent of Big River Steel with an option to purchase the balance, the $1 billion+ capital investment in the endless casting, rolling and cogeneration at Mon Valley Works and the $750 billion investment in Gary Works. Please note that attendees at the 2020 SMU Steel Summit Conference will have the opportunity to see the USS CEO David Burritt sitting down with me on the stage for a one-on-one discussion about what U.S. Steel is doing (and why now?).

John Packard Summit 18Both Tim Triplett and I are in San Antonio, Texas, for the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association conference. We will not return to our offices until Friday morning. This evening we are attending a dinner honoring William “Bill” Hickey, CEO of Lapham-Hickey Steel, as the Association of Steel Distributors Steel Executive of the Year.

Our March 31-April 1 Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals Workshop is almost sold out. The workshop will be held in Merrillville, Ind., and we will be touring the NLMK Portage electric arc steel mill. If you would like to learn more about our workshop, please go to:

The 2020 SMU Steel Summit Conference registrations are closing in on 300 executives. We continue to anticipate 1,200 attendees at this year’s conferenc,  which will be held at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta (next to ATL airport). Details about this, our 10th SMU Steel Summit Conference, can be found by clicking on this link, or going to

We know that our room blocks are not going to be able to satisfy everyone who wants to attend the conference. I highly recommend you register both for our conference and the hotel rooms early. As we get closer to the conference, we do check to make sure anyone on our room block is also registered to attend the conference. If you are not registered for the conference, you will not be eligible to utilize the SMU room block (you can pay whatever the hotel is charging if they have extra rooms, just not our room rates).

One of the hotels (Renaissance) room block is sold out. I understand that one night of the room block at the Marriott Gateway (next to GICC) is also sold out. We are checking to see if we can move things around to open up more space at the Gateway.  We still have 300 rooms available on the peak nights (Monday & Tuesday). There are rooms at the SpringHill Suites, AC Hotel (brand new hotel this year located in Gateway Center) and the Atlanta Airport Marriott Hotel, which is located about one mile from the convention center (we have shuttles running between this hotel and the GICC). You can make registrations to the AC Hotel now. If you have any questions regarding hotels, please contact:

A quick note about the 2020 SMU NexGen Leadership Award sponsored by the Steel Manufacturers Association. We will begin taking nominations later this month (by April 1). I am currently in discussions with a steel mill CEO to be the mentor for this year’s winner. The 2019 winner, Meredith Meade, will be spending a day with SDI President & CEO Mark Millett. Take some time to think about deserving individuals at your company. Restriction is we are looking for someone who is 35 years of age or younger. There are no restrictions as to job responsibilities. We do allow (encourage) self-nominations as well as company nominations. We will have more details and some suggestions on how to submit nominations. We had a strong group last year and we anticipate another one this year.

It’s an interesting day in Texas, and I am looking forward to interacting with service centers, fabricators and manufacturing companies over the next two days. I will be reporting more on the FMA Conference in Thursday’s newsletter.

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

John Packard, President & CEO

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