I would like to begin this time with a much rosier picture than the last time we spoke in September. It is that time of year that no matter what religion, ethnicity, political persuasion etc.
I want to wish you a Happy “Christmahanukwanivus” which should cover all.
Finally, the ferrous market has some life! Over the last several months we have finally seen a reversal of the downward spiral that has gripped our world. Now to a more pleasant upward spiral that has us all giddy at this time. I do caution that what goes up (too quickly) must come down, but I do not want to be the Grinch … just the whisper of reality.
Quickly I want to review the Commodity Roundtable discussion from September.
In case you were not there, Mr. Bradly reminded us that the U.S. and China view their steel industries totally differently and you cannot apply the U.S. philosophy to China. China may actually reduce some steel production (at some point) and that they could become a scrap exporter in the future. Mr. Pickard (Dan not Joe) updated us on the effectiveness of the Steel dumping cases and that their impact will be felt for the next several years. Finally, Mr. Kramer gave some great analogies and his overall perspective of the current and future status of our industry.
Below are several of the BIG items that are still current with an update on each.
- Steel cases … they continue to be pressed and not only against China but many nations. I suggest one day you take a look at it and you may be surprised at all the nations on the list.
- Hanjin – what a mess … I believe that finally all containers have been found, delivered, and hopefully unloaded. The Korean government has vowed to inject money but not sure what that means for the future.
- Rail Issues … the Surface Transportation Board is reviewing the possibility of doing away with the exempt status in regards to scrap. Very interesting and very complicated. We (ISRI) have provided some thoughts and comments with more to come I am sure.
- The Election … if nothing else I am elated I do not have to see another political adds, at least for a few months. Shame on both parties for bringing the ugliness of American politics to bear on the world stage. Donald Trump … Donald Trump is our president … like it or not. In the end no one individual (Obama or Trump) can bring down our great country, but they can make us look stupid at times. In regards to our industry, with the Republicans controlling both Houses and the White House I expect to see a big transportation/infrastructure bill passed and that should bode well for our industry. So far Wall Street has been happy and I think the emphasis on reducing regulations will spur growth in many sectors. We will see!
In closing, I want to extend the hand of friendship out to Mark Reiter, even though we have very different political views … I appreciate you … and I promise not to ask you to wear a Trump shirt.
Stay safe and warm in the coming months and I look forward to seeing everyone at the convention.
Ferrous Division Chair