Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

We hosted the greatest conference we have ever held over the past few days. This year’s SMU Steel Summit Conference smashed attendance records with 1,291 registered attendees. This does not include the dozens who networked in the lobbies of the four hotels surrounding the Georgia International Convention Center.

It was a wonderful and emotional experience for me. After 45 years in the steel industry, it was time to personally say goodbye to those who helped my career, and to those who have supported Steel Market Update over the years. I want to thank all of you who approached me during the conference and shared your stories about coming to the conference, interacting with Steel Market Update, or who were customers when I was actively selling steel. Your kind words were very much appreciated and warmed my heart and soul.

IMG 2865 (003)As with every SMU Steel Summit Conference, we had some surprises for the audience. There were also some for me. The SMU and CRU teams made sure that I knew how much my work has been appreciated. I want to thank the CRU Events Team: Nicola “Nicky” Coslett, Emma Phillips, Paul Terry, Marlea Stockenberg, Kieran Proverbs, Sabine Kilgus, and Jill Waldman.

I also want to thank the Steel Market Update team who not only assisted with the conference but who also managed to publish Tuesday evening’s issue without missing a beat: Michael Cowden, David Schollaert, Brett Linton, Laura Miller, and Becca Moczygemba. Rest assured, the SMU newsletter is in good hands.

Although I am retiring, I will remain visible within the greater steel community. My plans are to attend the 2023 Tampa Steel Conference, which will be held in Tampa on February 5-7. Work has already begun to put together a fabulous program for the Tampa event.

Plans are also underway for the 2023 edition of the SMU Steel Summit Conference. Mark your calendars and block off August 21-23. The conference will be held at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta, just as we have for the past half dozen years.

One week from today, I will be working on my golf game (invitations to play are always appreciated). I will continue writing the book I have been working on for my children. I will be planning trips both here in the US and internationally. I will be working with Reibus, where I sit on the board of directors, to see what I can do to assist their growth. I also sit on the board of trustees for Hamline University. So I will continue to be busy as I transition to the next stage of my life.

Over the next few issues, I intend to tell a few stories, and to provide some color as to what issues I think companies, and individuals within the industry, need to think about.

For those of you who would like to reach out to me I have provided both my business and personal email addresses as well as my phone number below.

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

John Packard, Founder


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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.