Steel Blog

Today, the Department of Commerce announced its affirmative preliminary determination in the countervailing investigation of imports of steel concrete reinforcing bar from Turkey. The investigation covers steel concrete reinforcing bar, which is used primarily as a structural agent to increase concrete structures’ resistance to tension, compression, temperature, and/or shear stresses.

Raw Material Prices: Iron Ore, Scrap, Coking Coal, & Zinc

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 8:06 PM Written by
Published in Commodities

This article covers iron ore, scrap, coking coal and zinc spot prices. In this article, author Peter Wright reviews some of the key commodities and provides correlations that we believe our readers should be aware of and take into consideration when buying or selling steel. This data is normally reserved for our Premium level members but we decided to share it with our entire membership. This piece combines our own data analysis with recently published opinions that we find credible and is updated through February 19, 2017.

On April 11th and 12th of this year Steel Market Update (SMU) will hold our Steel 101: Introduction to Steel Making & Market Fundamentals workshop in Toledo, Ohio.

Our workshops are uniquely suited for those new to the steel industry or those who are looking to “fine tune” their understanding of steel making and rolling skills as well as getting a better understanding of the ever-changing and challenging steel industry. Our workshop goes through how iron ore (or scrap) becomes new steel, how it is rolled into hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized, Galvalume and other products. With the help of North Star BlueScope those attending our workshop will be able to see steel being made and rolled into hot rolled coils. Our workshop also covers how various qualities of steel are made, sold and used. The steel industry is an international business and we probe some of the factors that drive steel prices including a discussion of what is happening in the markets today.

Our instructors have been active participants in the industry as metallurgists (2); sales at the mill level (2), service center (1) and trading company (1) and OEM purchasing (1). Two of our instructors: Peter Wright and John Packard are also actively involved in analyzing and writing about the steel industry. The net result being we can discuss the industry from many vantage points based on experience.

The people who attend our workshops come from a variety of backgrounds and job descriptions. We have steel mill people in every workshop, service centers, manufacturing companies, toll processors, suppliers to the industry and members of the financial community. We work hard to provide an environment suitable for not only learning but also networking with others within the industry.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Nucor Corporation (NYSE: NUE) announced today that the independent directors of its board of directors have appointed John H. Walker to serve as lead director of the board of directors effective February 22, 2017. Mr. Walker has served as a member of Nucor's board of directors since 2008 and has more than 30 years of experience in metal-related manufacturing and fabricating industries.

This morning Nucor made it official and announced a $30 per ton ($1.50/cwt) price increase on flat rolled steel. The increase was made in the form of a letter emailed to their customers. No explanation was provided by the mill to their customers for the reasoning behind the steel sheet price increase.

Steel Market Update (SMU) has been of the opinion a price increase was coming as early as this morning so the Nucor announcement should not be a surprise to our newsletter readers. We wrote about our concerns in last night’s issue of the Steel Market Update newsletter.

The Nucor increase is to be “effective immediately” so the question we are posing to steel buyers right now is what do they believe the new base price on hot rolled, cold rolled and galvanized will be?

Alexander Acosta Nominated for Labor Secretary

Friday, February 17, 2017 3:10 PM Written by
Published in Economy

The nomination of Alexander Acosta to the position of Labor Secretary on Thursday was met with approval by the Associated General Contractors of America.

Lacosta, a Harvard graduate, served as former assistant attorney for civil rights in the Justice Department and United States attorney for the Southern District of Florida. He previously served on the National Labor Relations Board and is currently dean of the law school at Florida International University. Acosta, if confirmed, would be the first Hispanic in the Trump cabinet.

MSCI Calls for New Strategy in Trade Law Enforcement

Friday, February 17, 2017 3:02 PM Written by
Published in MSCI

The Metals Service Center Institute (MSCI) called on the Trump administration to create a strategy that will evaluate trade violations impacting the entire industrial metals supply chain. MSCI president and CEO Robert Weidner said trade enforcement measures must protect not only the mills but also distributors, fabricators and processors in the supply chain.

MSCI has taken a proactive stance in advocating for the metals industry. In a memo to the vice president and trade officials in the new administration on January 10, MSCI emphasized the need to focus on six broad issues: trade and currency manipulation; taxes and fiscal responsibility; regulations; energy, environment, and infrastructure; health care; and employment and labor policy. MSCI has also addressed the International Trade Commission and the World Trade Organization on the need to stem global oversupply of aluminum and steel.

Ryerson Acquires Guy Metals

Thursday, February 16, 2017 7:39 PM Written by

Ryerson Holding Company announced it has acquired Guy Metals, Inc., a privately held metal service company in Hammond, Wisconsin. Guy Metals processes stainless and nickel alloy products used in food, dairy, pharmaceutical and beverage applications. The addition of Guy Metals strengthens Ryerson’s value-added processing capabilities.

US Steel Withdraws Trade Secrets Claim from Section 337 Complaint

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 5:54 PM Written by
Published in U.S. Steel

US Steel announced today that it will withdraw “without prejudice” its trade secrets claim from the Section 337 complaint it filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission against China. US Steel will continue to pursue its claims of antitrust and false designation.

The company released the following statement:

“We remain committed in our efforts to seek relief for each of the claims alleged in the Section 337 complaint, but today believe this was our best course of action. We continue to pursue a review before executive and judicial bodies of the inequities of the statutes that were enacted before the dawn of the Internet age and the substantial threats posed by cyber espionage.

Flat Rolled Steel Price Increases Coming?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 2:14 PM Written by

The following article is the opinion of John Packard, Publisher, Steel Market Update.

I haven’t gone back and reviewed the records as to how many times flat rolled steel prices moved higher after a quick run up followed by a stable to slightly down market for a couple of weeks. Probably less than the fingers on my hand over the past ten years.

Steel prices moved $160 per ton before stabilizing and then slipping by $20-$30 per ton which is in line with the reduction in ferrous scrap pricing for February.

However, those initial scrap negotiations changed after a few days and have been firming ever since. One of our scrap sources told us today, “We generally expect the ferrous market in March to move higher.  That is a typical seasonal trend, which this year is enhanced by low dealer inventories, continued improving demand in the domestic steel market and now the export market too.  Add in the fact that the Nucor DRI plant will be down.  There are a lot of tailwinds for scrap right now.  I think conservatively we will revisit and potentially exceed the price level we experienced in January.”

Hum, scrap prices appear to be firming to maybe exceeding price levels last seen in January.

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