Final Thoughts

Written by John Packard

There have been some discussions recently with articles written about the global scrap trade and China. China is the world’s largest steel producing nation with 50 percent (or greater) of the world’s steel production. A couple of years ago, I received information from one of my Chinese trading contacts about scrap steel being exported out of China for the first time. Late in 2018, that same contact told me the Chinese government had cracked down on ferrous scrap exports. Those exports are now restricted.

I asked my contact today if there has been any “cheating” as that seems to be the norm sometimes when it comes to China. I was told at one time there were some who tried to get around the government restrictions and export scrap anyway. Today, my contact said, “All of those guys are still incarcerated [for] tax evasion. No one dares now [try to export scrap out of China].”

I am tracking down rumors that Turkey may be about to get an exclusion from the Section 232 tariffs and quotas being put in their place. I have not yet been able to confirm this, but I am working on it. If you have information, please reach out to me at

I got a call today from a company that had filed for exclusions on the Section 232 steel tariffs. After 8-9 months they did receive their exclusions, but now the foreign country, which has quotas, is unable to provide the material. Have any of you found yourselves in similar situations, and how is it impacting the end user, or the product being manufactured here in the United States? If you have comments, please send them to me at

Our October Steel 101 workshop is a couple of weeks away, and the workshop is sold out (with a waiting list). I am trying to accommodate as many people as possible, but I want to point out we will have our next workshop on the West Coast in Ontario, Calif. (Los Angeles area) on Jan. 7-8, 2020, when we will tour California Steel Industries (CSI). We have made some adjustments to the agenda as we work to make the program as educational and interactive as possible. You can find details on our website: You are also welcome to contact me about the workshop if you would like to get my perspective on the value of the workshop for you or your employees.

The purchase of Steel Market Update by the CRU Group has allowed me to explore new proprietary products knowing I have the resources and personnel available to make things happen. You are seeing the early stages of this relationship in our SMU Steel Service Center Inventories and Shipment data, which is available now to Premium members. We are working on even larger projects that, over time, will provide even more industry data to our members and the customers of CRU. Now is a good time to consider upgrading your company’s SMU subscription to Premium. If interested, or if you have questions about Premium products, please contact Paige Mayhair at 724-720-1012 or by email at You are also welcome to contact me directly and I will do my best to advise why I think you should upgrade to Premium.

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

John Packard, President & CEO

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