There is much to be thankful for in 2014 but since this is a site dedicated to metals markets and metal price trends, we’ll stick to a narrow interpretation of the holiday.
To begin, it goes without saying that buying organizations have much to be thankful for. Generally speaking, the commodity markets have fallen in 2014 and that means our buying audience should largely have paid less for their metals in 2014 than in 2013. Though metals producers generally don’t like falling commodities markets, the lower prices – particularly for energy-intensive producers – have meant cost advantages on the raw materials side. That has translated to higher earnings, particularly for aluminum producers: Alcoa, Century Aluminum, Kaiser Aluminum Corp., Constellium. And the steel producers haven’t fared too badly either particularly – U.S. Steel and Nucor.
And the service centers also fared pretty well in 2014 – Reliance Steel & Aluminum, Worthington Industries and newly listed Ryerson all posted respectable numbers.
Moreover, though metals markets experienced some volatility during the first half of the year, particularly for nickel (stainless) and aluminum, volatility has not run wild. Many can be thankful for moderate volatility though a couple of us prefer more volatility (the CME Group, for example, and us here at MetalMiner – we tend to gain many more new readers in years with greater commodity volatility). Nevertheless, we are grateful that our readers have not ridden the 2008 price roller coaster.
We are grateful to Jeff Yoders who joined us as Assistant Editor back in March to provide deeper coverage of construction markets. He has also written some wonderful series including one on the rail crisis and has written well-trafficked pieces such as this one on sustainable design. (He also provides terrific office humor).
I can’t forget a hat tip to our multitalented Managing Editor, Taras Berezowsky who managed to create this fabulous NPR styled video on Lagunitas Beer now in the former Ryerson warehouse facility over on Rockwell Ave. here in Chicago in addition to all of his responsibilities for all of the sites.
Our marketing team of Kyle Fitzsimmons and Brianna Tonner has outdone themselves in the category of wit. Not only are our email campaigns and newsletter contributions in the form of Gunpowder and our latest off-week newsletter, The Cutting Room Floor (known in the office as Funpowder) the best in the industry, IMHO, our 5 minute metal market update will tell you everything you need to know about metals markets on a weekly basis.
Without a doubt, we are most excited by the creativity, innovation and contribution of our very own Raul de Frutos on the forecasting front. Raul has single-handedly put MetalMiner on the map from a metals sourcing strategy perspective. His careful and thoughtful analysis has already saved subscribers thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars (we’re shooting for millions in 2015). Sign up for our newsletter if you want to receive the best comprehensive MetalMiner Forecasting Guide the industry has to offer. Yes, a shameless plug.
Last, but not least, a big shout-out to Stuart Burns…my Co-Founder and Editor-at-Large. Whether it’s the 2017 aluminum price and forecasted premium or the scrap salvage effort for the Costa Concordia, Stuart’s content contributions hands down always land in our “top trafficked stories” of the year.
From all of us here at MetalMiner, we wish you a very healthy and happy Thanksgiving.