Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

We had a good conference call with HARDI wholesalers this morning. The dealers who service the mechanical contractors with galvanized sheet and coils continue to be busy. They are surprised at the steepness of the cost curve, and they are beginning to be wary of paying too high a price. One reason they are wary is the Architectural Billings Index, which has been below 50 for some time indicating a slowing commercial construction market where a lot of the steel is used.

I discussed how $50.00/cwt base galvanized used to be the level where sheet metal buyers balked and stopped buying. The wholesalers told me this morning, “$40.00/cwt is the new $50.00/cwt” (yet they are having to pay well above $40.00/cwt for new steel).

Seven (7) days to go…

I am not going to tell you who to vote for. I am going to encourage you to vote if you have not done so already.

The U.S. Postal Service is advising those of you who are voting by mail-in ballot that you need to mail them today. If you wait longer than today, there is a possibility your ballot may not arrive in time. You might want to consider putting your ballot in an election collection box at your local polling location or voting in person, which is what I did here in Florida earlier this week (10 minute wait, everyone wore masks, they cleaned the voting area after every person, etc.).

There is a lot of partisan rhetoric out there, but my opinion (and that of most economists like Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics) is the economy is going to do well no matter who is elected president.  If Biden wins, the Democrats will not be out there eating small children (QAnon reference), and the oil industry will continue to exist, and there is a good chance (with a Democratic Senate) that a large infrastructure bill may finally be passed, which would be good for the steel industry and the country’s future. If Trump wins, the trade wars will continue, maybe more manufacturing returns to North America, maybe the Dem’s and Republicans sit down and iron out an infrastructure bill (depends if the Senate is Democrat or Republican controlled), and we will have four more years of deciphering tweets…

John Packard Summit 18I wrote a note to my two children on my Facebook page today. This is what I said:

“To my son and daughter – there is hope coming and it is coming in the form of your generation and the demise of mine. If you listen to the webinar I have recommended for tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 28) with Dr. David Schultz, he will talk about the end of the divide this country has between the ultra-right and far left with not much in between. Your generation and the Gen-X generation that followed are more in tune with one another than the boomers. If this is any solace to you – according to Dr. Schultz this election will be the last controlled by the boomers – your generation will have the numbers and the political will to make much needed changes. I only hope that as a boomer who is not happy with the way my generation F*&%^#D things up over the past 30 years, that I live long enough to see this country as one again….”

Come join us at 11 a.m. ET for a free SMU Community Chat Webinar with Dr. David Schultz. We will look at the political landscape from an academic, non-partisan point of view (there is something here for everyone). I will also make some comments about our interesting steel market. Registration is free by clicking here or going to:

Our next Steel 101 workshop will be held on Dec. 8-9 (virtually). You can learn more and register by clicking here.

As always, your business is truly appreciated by all of us here at Steel Market Update.

John Packard, President & CEO

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