‘CRU-minus’: a cooler assessment

Dec 03, 2013 | 12:35 PM | Jo Isenberg-O’Loughlin

Tags  Lisa Goldenberg, CRU, steel pricing, CRU-minus, Association of Steel Distributors, ASD, Delaware Steel, AWMI Association of Women in Metal Industries

NEW YORK — The venue was about as unlikely a forum for an ad hoc forensic session on the promise and pitfalls of the "CRU-minus" steel pricing formula as they come: the upstairs banquet room of a sports bar in the shadow of New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium.

The occasion? A joint meeting of the New York Chapter of the Association of Women in the Metal Industries, the New York Chapter of the Metals Service Center Institute and the Association of Steel Distributors (ASD).

The formal agenda started slowly—10 minutes on the intricacies of the country’s antitrust laws delivered by a local lawyer—but picked up speed once the featured speaker took the podium: Lisa Goldenberg, president of Delaware Steel Co. of Pennsylvania, Fort Washington, Pa., and the first female president of the ASD.

"Delaware Steel is a third-generation, wholesale flat-rolled steel distributor started in the 1950s," Goldenberg said, sharing the details of her day job with the audience. "Our primary focus is on flat-rolled seconds and other opportunistic market purchases from most of the domestic steel mills. We supply customers from coast to coast, Maine to California, Monterrey, Mexico, to Quebec, Canada."

For the next half hour, Goldenberg addressed challenges, old and new, facing steel distributors today. "Does it seem to any of you that many of the age-old rules in steel distribution seem to be flying out the window?" she asked the audience of executives from steel producers, service centers and processors. "For example, we can all agree profits are tight, projecting anything seems more and more difficult and real relationships feel more fragile and fleeting than ever.....

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