Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. I hope you got to enjoy some quality time with your kids earlier today.

There has been a call on the Commerce Department to review exports of steel and aluminum from Canada and Mexico. There is a question if exports of these products have “surged” since the two countries were eliminated from Section 232 tariffs.

We did a quick review of the products we cover on a regular basis, and the only product that comes into question is semifinished (slabs), which cannot (or are not) being supported by the domestic steel mills. Please review the following two tables (one Canada and one Mexico) and you can come to your own conclusions:

A reminder, SMU will not host our Wednesday SMU Community Chat webinar this week. Instead, we are deferring to the free CRU Steel Briefing webinar that is scheduled for 10 AM on Tuesday. This webinar will focus on the CRU steel outlook with Chris Houlden (Head of Steel for CRU), Josh Spoores (Principal Analyst), Ryan McKinley (senior analyst) and Anissa Chabib (economist). I think you will find it quite interesting. You can register for the CRU webinar by clicking here.

On Wednesday, July 1, our Community Chat speaker will be Eddie Lehner, President & CEO of Ryerson. We will have registration available later this week.

I am not going to spend time this evening providing information about the 2020 SMU Virtual Steel Summit Conference; you can find more details, including the companies that are currently registered, by clicking here.

On Wednesday, July 8, we will take a portion of the time allocated to our SMU Community Chat webinar to give some insights into our conference.

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

I’ve had discussions with some of you lately about where and when sheet prices might bottom. Some of you say that hot-rolled (HR) coil prices won’t fall below $800 per short ton (st). Others tell me that bigger buyers aren’t interested unless they can get something that starts with a six. Obviously a lot depends on whether we're talking 50 tons or 50,000 tons. I've even gotten some guff about how the drop in US prices is happening only because we’re talking about it happening.

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?