Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Written by Becca Moczygemba

This weekend I was at my daughters’ swim meet. It’s a recreational summer league, so not all the kids are very competitive, but they all seem to have a great time cheering each other on.

The sportsmanship was unrivaled. All the kids shook each other’s hands after each heat, and nobody exited the water until the last swimmer touched the wall, even if the last swimmer was 30 seconds behind.

Being present at such a thrilling sporting event got me thinking about community. As I looked around, I noticed many of the parents were wearing their child’s team’s shirt. Most people had some type of identifier that told you who they were rooting for. But how do we in the steel industry do the same?

Every single person I have interviewed for our SMU Spotlight series has said the thing they love the most about the steel industry are the people. Our community. Just about every week we reach out to many of you to catch up on pricing, lead times, or whatever else is going on in the market. But there’s more to it than the market talk. I’ve had the opportunity to hear about baseball tournaments, high school graduations, and moving into universities. We’ve met up with our readers who live close to us, or people who contact us when they’re in town, and we get together.

I wish I had a crystal ball, because inevitably I get asked what the market is going to do. It’s been a roller coaster to say the least, but this week our Current Steel Buyers Sentiment Index is up vs. the previous market check. Though it’s not as high as it was at this time last year, buyers seem cautiously optimistic.

Sentiment 61123

Most people who responded to our survey this week believe that lead times will be flat two months from now. I guess that’s something we can discuss at Steel Summit, which is also about two months from now.

Lead Times 61123

So yes, we bring you pricing, lead times, market sentiment, and the like, but we’re more than that. Last year was my first year at Steel Summit and I finally understood what everyone had been saying. I like to think of it as a block party for the community that just so happens to have some really great speakers. And while nothing brings people closer together than wearing a swimsuit and screaming at your friends in the water (only kidding), we are all part of the same community, and we’re all swimming in the same direction.

By Becca Moczygemba,

Becca Moczygemba

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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.

Final thoughts

Unless you've been under a rock, you know by know that Nucor's published HR price for this week is $760 per short ton, down $65/st from the company’s $825/st a week ago. I could use more colorful words. But I think it’s safe to say that most of the market was not expecting this. For starters, US sheet mills never announce price decreases. (OK, not never. It has come to my attention that Severstal North America rescinded a price increase back on Feb. 14, 2012. And it caused quite the ruckus.)