Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard


It goes without saying, the steel industry is in a dynamic, volatile market and the only thing that is certain is the volatility will continue as we move into calendar year 2022.

It is not just price we need to watch over the coming months. There are many moving pieces to this puzzle. The agreement just announced between the U.S. and the European Union effectively removing the Section 232 tariffs on EU steel and aluminum products will have an impact on the U.S. market. It could become a template for agreements with other countries (look at England as the next country to have S232 tariffs removed from its steel and aluminum exports to the U.S.). It will take a few months for us to understand the total impact of the EU agreement.

SMU anticipated the agreement and the need for buyers and sellers of steel and aluminum to understand the tariff-rate quota system. We have exceptional programs dedicated to educating and debating the merits of the TRQ at the 2022 Tampa Steel Conference featuring trade attorney Lewis Leibowitz, AISI President & CEO Kevin Dempsey, Steel Manufacturers Association President Phil Bell, and American Metals Supply Chain Institute President and International Trade Counsel Richard Chriss.

When Steel Market Update decided to partner with Port Tampa Bay and their Tampa Steel Conference, we felt the timing of the conference, location and reputation would be the perfect complement to the SMU Steel Summit Conference we host at the end of August. The February dates (in 2022 the Tampa conference will be held on Feb. 14-16) work well as the industry focuses on key issues surrounding trade, steel supply, steel demand, steel prices, infrastructure, decarbonization, and a better understanding of where we are in the price cycle, and what comes next.

We have expanded the Tampa Steel Conference agenda so we can better serve the executives who will be attending the event while maintaining the comfortable networking associated with the conference.

On Monday, Feb. 14, for those arriving early, there will be free boat tours of the Port Tampa Bay as well as a networking/cocktail reception at the Marriott Water Street Hotel (host hotel).

On the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 15, there will be a golf outing for those who would like to play, and we will continue to have boat tours of Port Tampa Bay. On Tuesday afternoon, we will begin our extended program with three segments on the changing supply chain, decarbonization and its impact on commodities, and a presentation on infrastructure and the economy.

On Tuesday evening, we will host our second networking/cocktail party, which is always well received by attendees at the TSC conference.

On Wednesday, Feb. 16, we will continue the conference with a full day of speakers and panels on a wide range of topics. You can learn more about the agenda by clicking here.

Over the years I have enjoyed attending the Tampa Steel Conference because I appreciate the setting at the Marriott Water Street Hotel, which is located on the water in downtown Tampa Bay. It is an intimate conference with expected attendance of 300 to 400 executives. To make the deal even sweeter, the cost to attend is reasonable with the top price at $650 for a full price ticket. However, discounts are offered for SMU and CRU customers and for sending more than one person (reduce the price by $50 for each). For those of you who have attended past Tampa Steel Conferences or the SMU Steel Summit Conference, the ticket price drops to $500 per person (all discounts applied). You can learn more about pricing and how to register by clicking here.

Here are some of the companies already registered for the 33rd Tampa Steel Conference: Al Ghurair Iron & Steel LLC, AISI, American Metals Supply Chain Institute, American Shipping & Chartering, Atlantic Logistics*, Bank of America, Capital Hardware Supply, Carboox Resende Industria e Comercio de Refractorios Ltda*, Caribbean Containers LLC, City of Tampa*, Cleveland-Cliffs, Coilplus Inc., Contractors Steel, Cooper Consolidated*, Duferco Steel Inc., Huntington Bank, Illinois Tool Works (ITW)*, ITW Drawform, Klauer Manufacturing Company, Majestic Steel, McNichols Company, Mercury Resources, Optima Steel International LLC, Port Canaveral*, Port Manatee, Port Tampa Bay*, Ports America, Priefert Manufacturing, Priefert Steel, Red Bud Industries, Reibus, Samuel, Son and Company, Southwark Metal Manufacturing Company, Steel Manufacturers Association, Steel Resource Associates, TA Services, Tampa Steel & Supply, The Kemmsies Group, Tri County Metals, UPG, and Wolfe Research (those with an * means more than one executive is attending from that company). You can join them by clicking here to register or go to www.tampasteelconference.com.

We are hosting one of our largest steel hedging classes this week with more than 50 students registered. Our next Introduction to Steel Hedging Workshop (formerly called Steel Hedging 101) will be held virtually on Feb. 1 & 2, 2022.

The next Advanced Steel Hedging Workshop (Strategies and Execution) will also be held virtually on April 26-27, 2022.

The next Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals Workshop will be held virtually on Jan. 11 & 12, 2022.

We will be returning to live and in-person Steel 101 workshops during calendar year 2022. We have an agreement with Steel Dynamics to conduct a workshop in conjunction with their new SDI Sinton, Texas, plant next fall. I am working on producing another live and in-person workshop with another mill during spring 2022. More details will be coming out on both options, plus our virtual workshop schedule in the coming weeks.

For those of you who are new to Steel Market Update and would like to become subscribers, please reach out to Paige Mayhair. Paige can be reached at 724-720-1012 or by email at Paige@SteelMarketUpdate.com

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

John Packard

Latest in Final Thoughts

Final thoughts

What's the tea in the steel industry this week? Here's the latest SMU gossip column! Just kidding... kind of. Yes, some of the comments we receive in our weekly flat-rolled market steel buyers' survey are honestly too much to put into print. Some make us laugh. Some make us cringe. Some are cryptic. Most are serious. We appreciate them all. Below are some highlights from our survey results this week. Some of the comments that we can share with you are also included, in italics, in the buyers' own words, with minimal editing on our part.