Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

Steel Market Update released the final detailed report on service center inventories and shipments to our data providers on Friday. It will be released to our Premium level members tomorrow. I mentioned in Thursday’s Final Thoughts that watching this data is one of the keys to figuring out when the market may get to a tipping point. Our data reviews incoming orders along with the number of days of supply (which we feel is a more accurate comparison than the number of months supply). If you would like to receive this information, you will need to either become a data provider (contact me or Estelle Tran at to learn more about becoming a confidential data provider) or to become a Premium subscriber (contact Paige Mayhair at for information about our Premium newsletter and services).

John Packard Summit 18Slab prices into the U.S. market from Brazil are running around $770 per metric ton, USA port. Global prices are lower than what is being offered into the U.S. market. One of the steel mills told SMU, “Of course, with $60/cwt HRC, the slabs are hot….Having said that, the entire Q2 quota is already mostly sold…there won’t be many new bookings that could actually clear customs before July 1.”

The same mill also weighed in on the strength of steel prices in the U.S. “Prices are going to hang on longer than the panickers think. Those buying slabs at $800 and selling HRC at $1,300 are making a fortune now. Gotta keep some of that money around for a rainy day. Cyclical biz.”

The next hedging workshop coming up will be our first Steel Hedging 201: Advanced Strategies & Execution on Feb. 23-24 (both are half days). Our instructor is Spencer Johnson of StoneX. Assisting Spencer will be Tim Stevenson of Metal Edge Partners. We will also have comments from the CME Group on the exchange and CRU about the HRC index.

To learn more about this virtual workshop, costs to attend, etc., please click here. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at

2021 SMU Steel Summit Conference is also open for registration as we return to the Georgia International Convention Center on Aug. 23-25. You can learn more about the conference, costs to attend, discounts offered for SMU/CRU members and those bringing more than one person by clicking here.

There is much going on within the steel industry and Steel Market Update will be watching closely.

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

John Packard, President & CEO,

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