Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

Foreign steel imports are building, according to the latest license data from the U.S. government. Total licenses were 2.7 million net tons for March. This is well above the 1.984 million net ton average over the last two years. It is also equal to or above the first month of the quarter tonnage, which is larger than the average due to quotas being open for Brazil and other quota-capped countries.

I have received a few questions over the past couple of days regarding the 2021 SMU Steel Summit Conference. So, here are some answers:

  • Is this conference going to be an in-person (live) event at the Georgia International Convention Center (GICC) as in past years? Yes, it is our intention to take this event back to “live” and in-person. We are seeing up to four million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines being administered on a daily basis and we feel comfortable that the vast majority (if not all) of our attendees will have been vaccinated by Aug. 23 when the conference begins.
  • What protocols are going to be in place to protect attendees from COVID? We are working with the GICC, State of Georgia, Centers for Disease Control, and our own common sense to make sure we run a thoughtful yet productive event. The one way you can guarantee a safe event is to get vaccinated prior to coming.
  • Will there be restrictions on how many people will be allowed to attend? We don’t have an answer to that yet, but expect that question to be answered by June 1. To be sure you have a spot, you may want to register prior to June 1.
  • When should I plan to arrive, and when should I plan on leaving? The pre-summit workshops will begin at 9 a.m. ET on Monday, Aug. 23. The full conference opening will be at 1 p.m. on Monday (not Tuesday morning as we have done in the past). The conference will end by no later than 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Aug. 25.
  • I don’t see a room block set up yet on the website. Should I wait for a room block or reserve my room(s) now? My suggestion is to reserve the room on your own as soon as possible. The hotels to go to first (as they are located next to the GICC) are: Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway Hotel, Atlanta Airport Renaissance Hotel, Atlanta Airport SpringHill Suites Gateway Hotel, and Atlanta Airport A-Loft Gateway Hotel (brand new this year).
  • What are the costs to attend? The full price ticket is $1,395 per person. There is a $100 per person discount for SMU and CRU member companies. There is an additional $100 per person discount for companies bringing more than one person. If you have a large group (10 or more people), reach out to to see if there is any more flexibility in our numbers. Click here to register.
  • Do you still have sponsorships available? We have two left. Contact Jill Waldman at for more details. She can also assist you if you are interested in exhibiting at this year’s event. There are 10 spots left for exhibitors. We expect both sponsorships and exhibition spots to be gone prior to June 1.

Registrations for the 2021 SMU Steel Summit Conference have surpassed 300 executives and we are on pace to exceed 1,000 attendees as we did in 2019, the last time our conference was held in person. Here are a few of the companies that have registered over the past few days: Andes Coil Processors*, DC Metal Sales, Hirsh Industries, LLC, Juniper Capital Management*, LSI Industries, Metal Resources Holdings LLC, MRI Steel Framing*, Sector 3 Appraisals*, and Worthington Industries*. You can learn more about our program, speakers, costs to attend and how to register by clicking here.

Here is a listing of our upcoming workshops:

April 21 – Galvanized Steel Hedging Workshop – click here to learn more and register.

May 5-6 – Steel Hedging 201: Advanced Strategies and Execution – click here to learn more and register.

May 11-12 – Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals – click here to learn more and register.

June 2-3 – Steel Hedging 101: Introduction to Managing Price Risk – click here to learn more and register.

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

Last week was a newsy one for the US sheet market. Nucor’s announcement that it would publish a weekly HR spot price was the talk of the town – whether that was in chatter among colleagues, at the Boy Scouts of America Metals Industry dinner, or in SMU’s latest market survey. Some think that it could Nucor's spot HR price could bring stability to notoriously volatile US sheet prices, according to SMU's latest steel market survey. Others think it’s too early to gauge its impact. And still others said they were leery of any attempt by producers to control prices.