I had the pleasure of attending the S&P Global Platts Steel Markets North America conference held recently in Chicago. The general outlook at the conference for steel markets in the year ahead was notably optimistic, although each of the initial speakers differed in who and/or what the audience should pay attention to in the coming months and years. Conference keynote speaker, Herb Black, CEO of American Iron & Metal Company had his eyes on Turkey and its burgeoning scrap market. Timna Tanners, Managing Director of U.S. Metals and Mining at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, encouraged the audience to focus on China, while Beth Ann Bovino, Chief U.S. Economist for S&P Global Ratings, spoke to present macroeconomic conditions with a watchful eye on the current administration and potential post-election policy changes. With a cautiously hopeful tone set — and others hearkening back with similar sentiments throughout the day — the final presentations within “Steel Service Centers—Value-Added Products in Competitive Markets” from Roy Berlin, President of Berlin Metals; Donald McNeeley, President of Chicago Tube & Iron; and Michael Lerman, President of Steel Warehouse wer...