Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

It’s hard to see the forest through the trees….

SMU hosted our first SMU Community Chat Webinar yesterday (Wednesday). There were a couple of glitches – all my fault. I turned off the video recording and was not able to get it back, so no recording of yesterday’s webinar. Josh Spoores (guest speaker from CRU) and I practiced earlier in the day, and sure enough when the actual webinar was in session, I couldn’t figure how to get his camera back on… It took about 15 seconds to figure out on the fly…it seemed like 20 minutes.

For those who are interested, we had 468 people register. After reviewing the registration list, it appears they were all active participants in manufacturing, distribution, steel mills, toll processors or suppliers of services to those industries. At one point I did look at my screen, which told me there were 413 people on the webinar. Considering we did not start taking registrations until Tuesday afternoon, I think we did quite well.

John Packard Summit 18Josh Spoores is the Principal Analyst for Steel and Editor of the CRU Steel Sheet Monitor. He provided the CRU price forecast (low point will be in the low $400s) and demand forecast. We answered as many questions as we could during the 37 minutes we were online live. Both Josh and I received a number of questions after the webinar, which were also addressed.

I received many comments from those on the webinar telling me they were very pleased not only with the content, but the sense of “community” we are trying to build for the industry.

Being a bit of a perfectionist, the next one will be even better…

We will host a SMU Community Chat webinar every Wednesday at 11:00 AM Eastern Time (10 CT, 9 MT, 8 PT). You can click on this link to register. Once registered you will receive a confirmation email, which will contain the link to access the webinar (save it or post the link on your calendar). We will automatically send out a reminder one hour before the start of the webinar.

The subject of next week’s webinar will most likely focus on service centers and how various segments of the industry are responding to COVID-19 (demand, supply, stresses in the system, etc.). I have an invitation out for a speaker, but as of this writing had not yet received the response. Put us on your calendar.

Paige Mayhair is handling renewals, upgrades and new customers. She can be reached at 724-720-1012 or by email:

COVID-19 Thoughts:

I’ve started wearing a mask into the grocery store (the only travel I am doing away from my neighborhood).

A tank of gas is now lasting more than a month (I don’t know how long as I haven’t had to do a refill in quite some time). I feel bad about not being able to take advantage of $1.80/gallon gas prices.

It’s 90 degrees and sunny on my side of Florida and we are not allowed anywhere near the beaches, parks or watering holes.

Let me know how you are handling working from home, and any creative ways you have found to keep yourself entertained when not working:

Due to Good Friday and the Easter Holidays, Steel Market Update will not publish on Sunday, April 12.

We will continue to watch market developments as they happen and will publish again on Tuesday.

May everyone have a safe, healthy holiday weekend with those within your “quarantine” community.

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

We’ve all heard a lot about mill “discipline” following a wave of consolidation over the last few years. That discipline is often evident when prices are rising, less so when they are falling. I remember hearing earlier this year that mills weren’t going to let hot-rolled (HR) coil prices fall below $1,000 per short ton (st). Then not below $900/st. Now, some of you tell me that HR prices in the mid/high-$800s are the “1-800 price” – widely available to regular spot buyers. So what comes next, and will mills “hold the line” in the $800s?