Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


Why leave your employees in the dark?

Last week we had one of our member companies upgrade to an Enterprise membership, and they added 429 of their employees to their account. Today, we had a steel mill ask to add another 100 people onto their existing account. From our inception, the goal of Steel Market Update was to offer an option to companies so that all their employees could be informed as to what was happening in the market without breaking their bank account.

SMU has “Enterprise” memberships, which means you are allowed an unlimited number of your employees to receive our newsletters and access to our website.

John Packard Summit 18We have Enterprise memberships available for either Executive or Premium level access. We also have them broken out by unlimited number of users within North America (USA, Canada, Mexico) or globally.

Executive Enterprise includes our Executive Newsletter, which is published three times per week (Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings), our pricing indices for hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized, and discrete plate steels; sentiment index, price momentum indicator, price estimator, access to much of the information contained in our website and much more.

Premium Enterprise includes everything in the Executive level noted above plus the premium newsletter produced approximately once per week, access to our every other week survey results, our SMU Service Center Inventories/Shipments indices on flat rolled and plate steels, Key Market Indicators, Currencies for Steel Trading Nations, and many other SMU proprietary products. We are also receiving new content from CRU analysts on a variety of topics from around the world that are being included in our Premium newsletters.

You can learn more about your company becoming an Enterprise member by contacting Paige Mayhair at 724-720-1012 or by email: Paige@SteelMarketUpdate.com. You are also welcome to reach out to me personally at John@SteelMarketUpdate.com

SMU will not host one of our SMU Community Chat webinars on Wednesday, June 24, as we deferred this week to the CRU Steel Briefing webinar held earlier today. The CRU webinar was quite good, and I hope many of you took advantage of watching their analysts discuss U.S. steel, ferrous scrap and the economy – including forecasts. We will be having a number of these same analysts speak during the SMU Virtual Steel Summit Conference, which will be held Aug. 24-26.

Next week, our SMU Community Chat webinar will host Eddie Lehner, President & CEO of Ryerson. Ryerson is one of the largest flat rolled and plate (metals in general) service centers in North America. You can register for the July 1 free webinar, which will be held at 11 a.m. ET, by clicking on this link. You can find past webinar recordings and presentations by clicking here or going to www.SteelMarketUpdate.com and clicking on the SMU Community Chat tab at the top of the tool bar and selecting the webinar option in the drop-down screen.

So, John… What is happening with the SMU Virtual Steel Conference this week?

I am happy you asked. We continue to book more attendees as more and more companies are beginning to realize we are trying to create something unique in this age of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pushing 300 registered attendees, and that does not include approximately 100 registrations that we have for the “live” conference that have yet to respond to moving to virtual. With fingers crossed we hope to be near 400 attendees by this time next week.

Steel SummitThe SMU Virtual Steel Summit Conference will be the largest flat rolled and plate steel conference in North America – live or virtual – during 2020.

Speakers for this year’s event include (this is not all of the speakers as we are expanding our program): David Burritt, President & CEO, U.S. Steel; Lourenco Goncalves, Chairman, President & CEO, Cleveland-Cliffs/AK Steel; Leon Topalian, President & CEO, Nucor; Alan Beaulieu, Managing Director, ITR Economics; Phil Bell, President, Steel Manufacturers Association; Timna Tanners, Metals & Mining Analyst, Bank of America; Paul Lowrey, Managing Director, Steel Research Associates; Ryan Avery, The Keynote Speaker, Avery Today, Inc.; Todd Leebow, President & CEO, Majestic Steel; Tom Valvo, President-Global Residential, MiTek; Steve Sukup, President & CEO, Sukup Manufacturing; Frank Ruane, Executive Vice President, Olympic Steel; Ken Simonson, Chief Economist, Associated General Contractors; Stephen Brown, Senior Director-Corporate Financial Group, Fitch Ratings; Ryan Smith, Steel Analyst, CRU; Rick Preckel, Partner, Preston Pipe; Ryan McKinley, Senior Analyst, CRU; Josh Spoores, Principal Analyst-Steel, CRU; Chris Houlden, Finished Steel Business Unit Head, CRU; Jim Vincent, Senior Director-Strategic Sales, Big Ass Fans; John Anton, Lead Steel Expert, IHS Markit…and me.

I will soon speak to how I am going to be using these speakers (and a couple more) as we weave the story of the steel industry in 2020, 2021 and beyond.

I am trying to find a solid speaker from the medical community to speak on COVID-19 (possible second wave, what companies need to be doing, etc.). I have an invitation out to the CDC to speak. If you are aware of someone you have seen or heard that might make for a good speaker, please let me know: John@SteelMarketUpdate.com

If you would like to register for the 2020 SMU Virtual Steel Summit Conference, you can do so by clicking here.

If you would like to nominate one of your employees (or yourself) for the 2020 SMU NexGen Leadership Award sponsored by the Steel Manufacturers Association, please click here.

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?