Steel market psychology is split into two distinct camps: those who believe steel prices are fast approaching a bottom and will rebound in the second half and those who believe the lingering trade tensions and uncertain demand will keep pressure on prices—and buyers on the sidelines— for some time to come. Cautious buying by service centers, manufacturers, and fabricators, along with widespread inventory destocking, has put a serious dent in steel demand. Combined with weak scrap prices and what is arguably overproduction by domestic steelmakers, the resulting downtrend in steel prices is no surprise. Steel Market Update (SMU) gathers real-time pricing data from steel buyers every week. As of mid-June, SMU’s Price Momentum Indicator was pointing “lower” on all steel products, as it has been for most of the year. According to SMU data, the benchmark price for hot-rolled steel (FOB the mill, east of the Rockies) was averaging $550/ton ($27.50/cwt), with lead times of two to five weeks. That’s a 40 percent decline from the $910 peak in July 2018. Cold-rolled dropped to $700/ton ($35.00/cwt), with lead times as short as five weeks during the same time frame. Cold-rolled prices peak...