Steel Products

SMU Letter to Our Customers

Written by John Packard

April 21, 2020

Dear Steel Market Update “Member”,

Your business is important to Steel Market Update and our parent company The CRU Group. We know difficult times may lie ahead and we are here to support your business in any way we can.

Steel Market Update began operations in August 2008. By the end of September, the financial markets had collapsed, and those associated with the steel industry were in for a prolonged painful recovery. SMU helped our subscribers survive the turmoil and ultimately to prosper by providing quality market intelligence through the contacts I had developed during my 30+ years of actively buying and selling steel.

Now, 12 years later, the world is being subjected to COVID-19 (coronavirus) with equally devastating results. We do not yet know how dramatic the demand destruction will be. We are still battling the virus, and exactly when the “recovery” will start is unclear.

There are a lot of unknowns, which makes running a business – whether yours or ours – quite challenging.

John Packard Summit 18Just like in 2008/2009, Steel Market Update intends to provide quality market intelligence using our industry contacts as well as all of the other tools we have developed over the past 12 years. We are working hard to answer the questions being asked in the marketplace: when will automotive restart (and what will it look like when it does); what are the prospects for construction and how dramatically will current and future projects be impacted; how does $20/barrel oil affect drilling and the construction of new pipelines; how much inventory is really in the system; what will demand look like for flat rolled and plate products in the months ahead, etc.?

The SMU team, aligned with The CRU Group’s economists and analysts, are focused on providing what you need to get through the current situation and to prepare for what is coming next.

We highly encourage you and your team to attend our free weekly SMU “Community Chat” webinars, which are held every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Each week our webinar will help keep your company engaged with the greater steel community while learning more about various industries, commodities, production facilities and the economy. This week I will be discussing the automotive industry with Bernard Swiecki of the Center for Automotive Research. Click here to register.

It is important for us to clearly state that we understand the financial difficulties many companies are facing or will be facing in the months to come. Your business is truly appreciated, and we sincerely hope that an SMU membership will assist you in navigating the rough waters ahead – just as we did for our members during the Great Recession.

I am personally here and available to answer any questions you might have regarding your membership (or anything else), and SMU will strive to maintain your business during difficult times. We call our subscribers “members” because since August 2008 (or whenever you joined us) you have become part of our steel family.

I can be reached at 770-596-6268 or by email at:


John Packard
President & CEO
Steel Market Update

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