Steel Buyer's Sentiment Meter

What is the Steel Buyers Sentiment Index?


Since November 2008 Steel Market Update has been measuring what we call “Buyers Sentiment”. Essentially, we are measuring responses from those who buy and sell flat rolled steel in North America regarding their attitudes about their company’s ability to be successful in the current business conditions.

We also ask questions as to their attitudes regarding projected future business conditions and their company's ability to be successful 3-6 months into the future.  We call this our Future Buyers Sentiment Index.

Each is measured and plotted on a meter (shown on the Homepage to members) ranging from -100 to +100, with “0” being the mean or average – which is the point where attitudes are in the “Fair” or transitional range. If Buyers Sentiment is optimistic the range will be measured on the plus side with +100% being the most positive position possible. If Sentiment is pessimistic the measurement will be on the negative side with -100% being the most pessimistic position possible.

The meter reading measures the degree of optimism, pessimism or changing (neutral) attitudes steel buyers and sellers are feeling about their own company’s ability to be successful in the current economic conditions. The Steel Buyers Sentiment Index main features include:

  • A measurement of the current attitude of buyers and sellers of flat rolled steel products in North America regarding how they feel about their company's opportunity for growth in today's market.
  • Positive readings will run from +10% to +100% and the arrow will point to the right hand side of the meter indicating a positive sentiment.
  • Negative readings will run from -10% to -100% and the arrow will point to the left hand side of the meter indicating negative sentiment.
  • A reading of "0" (+/- 10%) indicates a neutral sentiment which is most likely an indicator of a shift occurring in the marketplace.
  • Readings are developed through Steel Market Update market surveys which are conducted every other week.
  • Currently we send invitations to over 600 North American companies to participate in our survey. Our normal response rate is approximately 120 to 175 companies. Of those responding approximately 50% are manufacturing companies, 40% are service centers/distributors and the balance is made up of steel mills, trading companies and toll processors involved in the steel business.
  • Steel Market Update does canvass those being invited to participate in order to confirm their active participation in the flat rolled steel business. Our list is updated at least once per month and we are adding new companies on a continuous basis.


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