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The Top American Stainless & Special Steel Event in 2018

organized in association with American Metal Market Events


Date:            October 30 - 31, 2018
Location:    Chicago, IL, USA
Venue:         Hyatt Regency Chicago

Glory days are here again?

2018 will be a great year for the U.S. stainless steel industry: demand is growing, tariffs around section 232 are keeping out some nasty competitors, and rising prices are resulting in increased profitability for US producers. Finally, glory days are back ….. are they?

Endless sun seems to be shining on the industry, but we should not get too enthusiastic in the longer term and overlook potential clouds on the horizon. A thorough analysis of today’s market should raise some serious questions:

  • Does the U.S. industry have sufficient capacity and raw materials to replace imports?
  • Do U.S. mills see profitable opportunities in re-entering some commodity market segments that were increasingly catered by Far-East suppliers in recent years?
  • Will U.S. mills build up new capacities, e.g. for seamless tube that are >90% imported today?
  • Are end users simply accepting higher prices or is there a risk of off-shoring?

While recent government measures like section 232 will probably result in short-term profits for steel producers and their shareholders, they cannot ensure the long-term survival of local industries.

At this time, it is more important than ever to re-think long established business practices and to implement new creative solutions. Across the entire supply chain, future business strategies need to embrace the following buzzwords: Creativity, Innovation & Digitalization.

Today’s world has already become digital, but the steel industry is still lagging behind. We can sit back and wait until global companies like Amazon seize control of the steel distribution business, or we can proactively develop our own tools and systems to reach today’s digital customers.

The American stainless steel industry is gathering in Chicago on October 30th and 31st to discuss these topics and all relevant issues that will shape the business in 2019 and beyond.

The following topics will be discussed in detail:

» America First – glory days are here again?
  • America First: Is the U.S. market cut off from Imports?
  • Does the U.S. industry have sufficient capacity to replace imports?
  • Are US mills interested in commodity products?
  • Implications for major market segments
  • Which segments are vulnerable to off-shoring?
  • Will new STS capacities be built in the USA?
  • What is hot and what is not in 2018 and 2019?
  • Cost pressures on U.S. mills (electrodes, refractories, labor, gases …)
» Raw Materials & Production Costs
  • 4-in-1 production systems – impact for US mills?
  • Can environmental regulation stop the success of 4-in-1 production systems?
  • Ni deficit or surplus in 2018 and 2019 (supply/demand)?
  • Will NPI completely replace Class I Ni?
  • Scenarios for Ni in Batteries - which will be the winning technology and will there be enough Nickel?
  • Is the LME / SHFE becoming obsolete? New pricing models for Ni?
  • The Ni and STS ramp-up in Indonesia
  • Chrome Consolidation in South Africa vs. New developments in China?
  • Future scrap pricing - a chance to stay competitive against 4-1?
  • Rising Mo prices due to lower output of by-product mines?
  • Will oil & gas recover and drive Mo demand?
» Digitalisation in Production and Distribution
  • How can digitalization help to enhance productivity in STS production?
  • Is digitalization and industry 4.0 a chance to bring back manufacturing into the USA?
  • How can we prevent that companies like Amazon or Google are taking over control of steel distribution?
  • How can we manage and benefit from ‘big data’ and how can we ensure data protection?
  • What are the obstacles for quick implementation of digital solutions?
  • Impact of digitalization on workforce – from steel workers to IT specialist?
» Market Outlook & Big Picture
  • Where do we stand in the business cycle?
  • Which industries or regions are booming? Where are the hotspots?
  • How is the US industry developing compared to the Europe, Asia and emerging countries?
  • What is the status of new stainless mega-projects in Indonesia, Zimbabwe, South Africa ….?
  • New mobility concepts, implications for special steel products
  • Trends in premium steel segments? Powder production on the rise?
  • Is 3D printing a risk for forged products and castings?