SMU Survey Results: Concerns Growing About Supply – Especially Coated Steels

Written by John Packard

When we conducted our flat rolled market trends analysis during the middle of February we found 20 percent of our respondents had concerns regarding supply during calendar year 2017. The majority of respondents (63 percent) expressed no concerns about supply. As we move forward to last week the majority is still expressing no concerns about supply (62 percent) but the percentage of those having concerns has grown to 30 percent of our respondents. We will need to watch and see if there is cause for this concern either by extending lead times, shrinking imports or rapidly improving demand.

This question prompted many of the respondents to comment:

“With Big River coming on-line and other hot mills I have no concerns on supply. However, Big River is willing to pay a premium currently for prime scrap and that is going to drive tightness in the scrap market for a while.” Manufacturing company

“Supply is there as long as you pay the price.” Trading company

“None at this time [concerns about supply] – this could change quickly.” Wholesaler

“[Yes, we have concerns about supply] especially in coated products.” Service center

“Always have concerns about the availability of secondary steel sources.” Service center

“Coated shortage possibly coming.” Manufacturing company

“Our contracts cover 2017 needs, but I have more of a concern about CR & Coated capacity for 2018 and am actively reviewing new low cost countries for steel supply with low AD/CV duty risk.” Manufacturing company

Our next SMU Flat Rolled Market Trends Analysis begins on Monday, March 20th and will conclude later in the week. Premium level members of SMU can see past results of our surveys on our website. We will publish a new Power Point presentation with this week’s results on Friday of this week.

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