Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


We get all kinds of reactions to articles we publish. However, I was a bit surprised when one of our readers sent a note regarding our coverage of IHS Markit’s forecast of the impact of the coronavirus on the U.S. economy. The note said, “Article on coronavirus was despicable. Let’s just start a panic.”

Usually, when we get a response like the one above, I assume there are others who feel the same way but are not willing to voice their opinion. So, I am going to share my response:

John Packard Summit 18“IHS Markit is a very reputable consulting and economic forecasting group. The absolute leader in the energy segment, and John Anton is one of the best steel forecasters I know.

“We reported what was shared with the FMA audience.

“I did not report fully on what is happening in Europe, which is heading toward a full-fledged panic. The CRU management is cancelling all events through June (except for our workshops in USA, so far), banning international travel for their employees, and looking at having any high-risk employees work from home.

“It would be a dereliction of our duty not to inform our readers who have the responsibility to protect themselves, their families and their employees by being proactive.

“As John Anton stated – this is not Armageddon and he hopes he is wrong, but better to be forewarned….

“I don’t have an opinion as to whether he is right or wrong. Only that his opinion is worth reporting.

“In my Final Thoughts [in Thursday’s newsletter] you got a taste of what is going on in China (which confirmed what John Anton told the audience) as they stamp out the spread to their population.

“You are welcome to disagree.”

The negative comment was not the only one we received on the coronavirus article. I also received this: “I just wanted to let you know I thought today’s newsletter was great. Very informative on the coronavirus and offered some different perspectives. I especially enjoyed hearing the perspective of someone with firsthand knowledge in China.”

As I stated earlier, I believe it is our job to provide information that is being shared with the greater steel community. What you and your company do with that information is up to you.

We have a Steel 101 workshop coming up at the end of this month. Because it is a small group of under 40 people, we have not cancelled the event. SMU is in constant conversation with the CRU Events team, with the venues and, in the case of the Steel 101 workshop, with the steel mill involved with the workshop regarding the coronavirus and possible spread in their area. We will be reaching out to our Steel 101 attendees later this week to provide guidance about the March 31-April 1 workshop.

Registration is also open for the 2020 SMU Steel Summit Conference which will be held in Atlanta on Aug. 24-26. For more details, go to our website: www.SteelMarketUpdate.com/events/steel-summit

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.

Final thoughts

Unless you've been under a rock, you know by know that Nucor's published HR price for this week is $760 per short ton, down $65/st from the company’s $825/st a week ago. I could use more colorful words. But I think it’s safe to say that most of the market was not expecting this. For starters, US sheet mills never announce price decreases. (OK, not never. It has come to my attention that Severstal North America rescinded a price increase back on Feb. 14, 2012. And it caused quite the ruckus.)