For Immediate Conference Registration Details, Scroll Down to the Bottom of This Post
I don’t know about you, but I’ve attended one too many conferences that echo the mantra, “created for the industry by the industry as if sourcing organizations care or need to hear what a room full of producers might say about the state of the aluminum industry. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that we think producers don’t have useful information to share, but a roomful of them immediately makes me think “anti-trust and ergo, one can forget about the detailed insight (price forecasts anyone?) that only comes from speaker/panel diversity. At the end of the day, whether you are a purchasing manager, hedge fund manager, a research analyst, an engineer, COO or commodity analyst what you really need to understand from an aluminum conference is the following:
The global drivers of the industry
As we have often said on these virtual pages, metal markets are no longer domestic only. To understand what happens in the US, one needs to understand what has happened and will happen in China, Japan, India and Brazil, by way of examples. Bringing in speakers than know the Chinese aluminum market inside and out helps buying organizations understand the global dynamics that help drive the industry. Energy prices in global markets represent a key industry driver, yet most conferences fail to include any kind of global comparative analysis. The dynamics of the Chinese scrap market have ramifications for sourcing organizations sitting in the US. Domestic-only focused conferences might provide some discussion around industry advancements and trends, but lack the insight required to navigate today’s global waters.
Price forecasts and outlook
It goes without saying that price forecasting and trending have become critical requirements for today’s sourcing organizations. Identifying the key drivers of pricing and hearing from world-renowned analysts with long histories of making accurate price forecasts have proved invaluable to manufacturers, large and small. In addition, the banking and investment worlds depend upon that detailed insight. Without detailed forecasts and research behind price trends, companies recently have found themselves on the wrong side of the buying equation. Why would anyone attend an aluminum conference without paying extensive attention to pricing?
Specific — and actionable — sourcing and hedging strategies
Though getting out of the office sounds nice for a day and a half, if a conference doesn’t provide a ROI, why bother? Harbor Aluminum spends an entire morning examining specific, actionable sourcing and hedging strategies that buying organizations can take to better manage volatility. The specific hedging strategies discussed offer tangible examples of how commodity managers, risk officers and treasury departments can smooth earnings, reduce risk and/or better understand how suppliers add margin to offered prices to take on buyer risk. I personally learned several hedging techniques available to sourcing organizations that I didn’t know of before the event.
We don’t speak at many events, but have spoken at the Harbor Aluminum Conference 2010 and will speak again at this conference with a talk entitled: “Innovative Sourcing Strategies For Aluminum Buys.
Here are the details of the event:
When: June 20 22, 2011
Where: Swissotel Chicago
For: Aluminum buying organizations, metals traders, ETF investors, et al.
Price: $1665 through April 26; $1765 after
Discount: All MetalMiner attendees will receive a $200 discount by typing in the letters “MM before their names on the registration form.
Click here to see the brochure and register for the event.
We hope to see you there!
Disclaimer: Harbor Aluminum is a research sponsor of MetalMiner. The views expressed in this article represent the editorial opinion of the author.