Proprietary Products

Steel Market Update membership provides many valuable benefits. A number of the key benefits of membership include our own unique proprietary products and tools. Steel Market Update’s proprietary products include:

SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index

The SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index is a measure of how buyers and sellers of flat rolled steel feel about their company's ability to be successful in the current business and market conditions. Twice per month the Buyers Sentiment Index measures responses from active market participants. Our proprietary data is collected from manufacturing companies, service centers/wholesalers, trading companies, toll processors and steel mills. We also measure market attitudes regarding projected future business conditions – which is captured in our Future Steel Buyers Sentiment Index.

Both the SMU Steel Buyers Sentiment Index and the SMU Future Steel Buyers Sentiment Index are measured and plotted on a chart, with “0” being the mean or average (“Fair” range) and +10% - +100% representing the positive or "optimistic" range. Negative or "pessimistic" responses are represented in the -10% through -100% range.

Our Sentiment Index data is available to all free trial, Monthly, Executive and Premium subscription levels.

SMU Price Momentum Indicator

Steel Market Update uses our proprietary Price Momentum Indicator to measure the direction of the current trends in flat rolled steel pricing. Pricing trends are displayed through the use of directional arrows on the Home Page of our website. Higher pricing, stable or transitional pricing, and lower pricing trends are depicted by the position of the arrow (up for higher, sideways for stable/transitional, and down for lower). Steel Market Update collects momentum data direct contact with steel buyers as well as through our market survey which is conducted twice a month. SMU Market Survey is sent to over 600 companies throughout the United States and Canada. Participant populations include service centers and distribution companies as well as steel mills, trading companies, toll processors and suppliers to the industry (such as paint companies).

Our SMU Price Momentum Indicator is visible on our Home Page to all of our free trial, Monthly, Executive and Premium subscription levels.

SMU “MoMo”

The Steel Market Update’s “MoMo” is an indicator based upon the current hot rolled coil price weighed against the previous 12 week average spot price as recorded by Steel Market Update. The SMU MoMo serves as a lagging indicator demonstrating the historical price momentum trend.

"MoMo" is published weekly in our Executive Newsletter which is available to free trial, Executive and Premium subscribers.

SMU Key Market Indicators

Steel Market Update Key Market Indicators chart is designed to give a snapshot of the steel market on a specific date. The chart is stacked vertically to separate the primary indicators of the general economy, of proprietary Steel Market Update indices, of both flat rolled and long product market indicators and finally of construction and manufacturing indicators. The indicators are classified as leading, coincident or lagging as indicated.

Columns in the chart are designed to differentiate between the current situation and the direction in which the market is headed. The present situation is sub-divided into, below the historical norm (-), (OK), and above the historical norm (+). The “Values” section of the chart is a quantitative definition of the market’s direction. In cases where seasonality is an issue, the evaluation of market direction is made on a three month moving average basis and compared year over year to eliminate this effect. Where seasonality is not an issue concurrent periods are compared. The date of the latest data is identified in the third values column. Values will always be current as of the date of publication. Finally, the far right column quantifies the trend as a percentage or numerical change with color code classification to indicate positive or negative direction.

The Key Market Indicators graphic and data is available to Premium subscribers. There are a small number of items which are visible for free trial and Executive levels as well.

SMU Import Analysis by Port & Country

Steel Market Update has two distinct reports that we run for our members regarding imports of foreign steel into the United States. SMU reports on imports of hot rolled, cold rolled, Galvalume (other metallic) and galvanized steel. We show the imports by port and, in the case of semi-finished, provide projections for what mills may be receiving the steel.

We have a second report which we developed for our premium members where we include countries of origin as well as the product and port of arrival into the United States.

Our special analysis of imports by product, port and country is reserved for our Premium subscribers only.

SMU Mill Negotiations

During our SMU Steel Market Survey we canvass those participating as to their ability to negotiate flat rolled steel pricing with the domestic steel mills. We do this by product: hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized and Galvalume steels and display the results twice per month to our members. The SMU Mill Negotiations is a leading indicator of where prices will be headed in the future.

SMU Mill Negotiations data is available to free trial, Executive and Premium subscribers.

SMU Price Estimator

The SMU Price Estimator is a tool for calculating the "average" prime price for any specific gauge, width, quality and coating weight (when applicable) for hot rolled, cold rolled, galvanized and Galvalume steels. The SMU Price Estimator uses SMU prime price indices plus domestic mill gauge, width, and quality coating extras to generate a projected selling or market price. Prices are continuously reviewed and confirmed weekly.

SMU Price Estimator is available to the public and to all levels of subscriptions.

SMU Service Center Spot Pricing

Steel Market Update collects service center spot pricing data from through our market survey which is conducted twice a month. We have found that service center spot prices are an excellent indicator and predictor of domestic (USA) mill pricing.

SMU Service Center Spot Pricing is available to free trial, Executive and Premium subscribers.

SMU Steel & Scrap Price Assessments & Indices:

Steel Market Update (SMU) collects transaction as well as offers to buy and sell (or scrap) and compiles ranges as well as our average for each of the following flat rolled steel products:

  • Hot Rolled
  • Cold Rolled
  • Galvanized
  • Galvalume

We also produce price assessments (averages) for the Midwest USA market on the following scrap categories:

  • #1 HMS ferrous scrap
  • Shredded ferrous scrap
  • #1 Busheling ferrous scrap

SMU Price Indices are available on a limited basis (3 months of data) to our free trial and Monthly subscribers. Executive and Premium subscribers have full access to the data.

SMU Steel Market Surveys

Twice per month, Steel Market Update (SMU) conducts a survey of flat rolled steel buyers and sellers. The survey is by invitation only and we invite in excess of 600 companies to participate in our survey of the flat rolled steel markets. The companies invited come from the manufacturing, service center/wholesaler, steel mill, trading company, toll processor and supplier to the steel industry segments of the market. The largest percentage of companies are either manufacturing (45%-55% of respondents) or service center/wholesalers (30%-40% of respondents).

Our surveys generate information about mill lead times, negotiations and steel pricing. We also probe and report on demand trends, service center spot pricing, inventory buying patterns, measure inventory levels at service centers and probe items of interest at the time of the survey being conducted.

We provide our Premium Members access to a large portion of our survey history and current data within this website.