Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

The 2022 SMU Steel Summit Conference, which will be held at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta, is just 63 days away.

The dates for this year’s conference are Aug. 22-24. We begin with a pre-Summit program at 9 a.m on Aug. 22. The official start of the conference will be at 1 p.m. The conference concludes on Aug. 24 at 2:30 p.m.

I shared the agenda for Monday, Aug. 22, last week. Below is the current agenda for Tuesday, Aug. 23. We are in negotiations with one of the “Big Three” auto companies to speak early on Tuesday. This potential speaker is not yet reflected on the agenda.

Steel Summit7:00 a.m. – Registration Opens

8:30 a.m. – Opening Remarks

  • John Packard, Founder of Steel Market Update
  • Michael Cowden, Senior Editor, Steel Market Update

*Note: If the “Big Three” auto speaker confirms, we will begin Tuesday at 8:00 a.m. instead of 8:30 a.m.

9:00 a.m. – Is the International Steel Trade Still Viable?

  • Jerry Richardson, President, CSN LLC
  • Jose Gasca, Managing Director, Metrading International AG
  • Murat Askin, Founder & CEO, StaalX LLC
  • Lewis Leibowitz, Trade Attorney, The Law Office of Lewis E. Leibowitz
  • John Packard, Founder, Steel Market Update (moderator)

This roundtable discussion will look at international trading from the trader’s perspective. How have the challenges associated with supply chain snarls, tariffs, political uncertainty, and decarbonization impacted the flow of steel around the world and specifically into North America?

10:15 a.m. – Keynote Address: It’s a Great Time To Be in the Steel Industry

  • Paul Lowrey, President, Steel Research Associates

Paul has always been well-received by our attendees as he tackles pertinent topics from a contrarian perspecitve. He has challenged conerns about overcapacity while also warning of high scrap costs due to the expansion of the electric arc furnace footprint in North America.

11:00 a.m. – The Future of the Trucking Industry

  • Gregg Troian, President, PGT Trucking, Inc.
  • Pablo Koziner, President, Energy & Commercial, Nikola Motor Company
  • Michael Cowden, Senior Editor, Steel Market Update (moderator)

The trucking industry is undergoing transformational changes because of the lack of drivers and because of new technology, equipment, and changes to the rules of the road. This panel will discuss electric trucks, fuel-cell vehicles, driverless trucks, and other changes that are transforming the industry. Nikola, a manufacturer of EV trucks, will have one of their vehicles outside of the convention center for you to view.

11:45 a.m. – Lunch at the Convention Center

1:00 p.m. – Construction, Energy and Auto Forecasts

  • Ken Simonson, Chief Economist, Associated General Contractors of America (AGC)
  • Bernard Swiecki, Director of Research, Center for Automotive Research (CAR)
  • Frank Frederickson, Vice President, Customer Experience, Minnesota Power

This panel will provide automotive forecasts, construction forecasts for the balance of 2022 and into 2023, as well as energy forecasts for solar, wind and other renewable projects that use steel products.

1:45 p.m. – NexGen Metals Community: Talent Attraction and Retainment

NexGen Leadership Award Presentation

  • Meredith Meade, NAFTA Purchasing Manager, Tempel Steel (2019 NexGen Leadership Award recipient)
  • Stephen Sterling, Vice President-Operations, Quality Metal Stamping (2020 NexGen Leadership Award recipient)
  • Eric Daniels, Director of Supply Chain, NIM Group (2021 NexGen Leadership Award recipient)
  • Ping Liang, Marketing Manager, ArcelorMittal International America
  • Ciara Bunch, M.S., Customer Success – Lead, Reibus International
  • Ben Snyder, Founder, J. Benjamin Recruitment LLC
  • Colin Sterling, Quality Metal Stamping

NexGen Leadership Award Presentation

  • Phil Bell, President, Steel Manufacturers Association
  • John Packard, Founder, Steel Market Update

The NexGen Metals Community steering group will introduce themselves and the NexGen Metals Community organization that we recently launched. They will also introduce a number of topics of importance to young people in the industry.

Phil Bell and John Packard will then award the 2022 NexGen Leadership Award.

2:50 p.m. – Steel and Commodity Forecasts

  • Timna Tanners, Managing Director, Wolfe Research
  • Josh Spoores, Principal Analyst – Steel, CRU
  • John Anton, Director, S&P Global Market Intelligence
  • Michael Cowden, Senior Editor, Steel Market Update (moderator)

Always a popular program, our panelists will provide their insights and forecasts for steel and scrap for the balance of 2022 and for 2023.

3:40 p.m. – Fireside Chat with Mark Millett, Co-Founder, President and CEO, Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI)

  • Mark Millett, Co-Founder, President, and CEO of SDI
  • John Packard, Founder, Steel Market Update

Mark and John will once again roll up their sleeves and have a no-holds-barred discussion of the flat-rolled steel industry from SDI’s perspective. SDI’s new sheet mill in Sinton, Texas, and other new projects will be high on the list of items to be discussed along with decarbonization, trade, and scrap.

4:30 p.m. – Networking Cocktail Reception

Dinner will be with your steel friends – either brand new or existing.

Further networking will be available at the Marriott and Renaissance hotels next to the convention center.

Monday’s program can be found either online or in last Thursday’s newsletter. You can access it here.

Status of Registrations for the 2022 SMU Steel Summit Conference

Registrations are in the mid-700s and moving toward 800. We are averaging 50-100 registrations per week, so we still anticipate close to 1,200 executives at this year’s event. You can learn more about the agenda, speakers, NexGen Leadership Award (and how to nominate one of your employees), costs to attend, and how to register by clicking here.

Please note that our room blocks at the four hotels surrounding the Georgia International Convention Center are either sold out or very close to being sold out. If you need help booking a room, please contact

NexGen Leadership Award Nomination Process

The NexGen Leadership Award will be awarded to someone within the greater steel community who 35 or younger. This award recognizes young people who exemplify the best the industry has to offer. Candidates for this year’s award will be those who were able to excel despite the pandemic, supply chain shortages, and other curveballs thrown at the industry over the last year. The award will be bestowed on the candidate whose emerging leadership within his or her company sets a standard for the rest of the industry.

You can nominate someone within your organization, or you can nominate yourself. Learn more here.

Nominees receive discounted admittance to the SMU Steel Summit Conference. Those selected as finalists receive free entry to the conference and up to $1,000 to cover travel and hotel expenses for the event. You can inquire about how to obtain discounted tickets by contacting

If you have any questions about how to nominate someone from your company (or yourself) for the 2022 NexGen Leadership Award, please contact or

Please note in the Tuesday agenda we will have a program conducted by the NexGen Metals Community advisory team as well as the NexGen Leadership Award presentation.

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

John Packard, Founder,

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.