Steel Plate Price Support not Enough for Monthly Renewables Index

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renewable energy metals prices index november 2013 chart

The story behind the renewables monthly index comes down to steel plate and, in particular, the price increases recorded by Japan, Korea, and to a lesser extent, the US. GOES also declined slightly this past month, but we expect it to rise in the coming months (read the story here).

Steel plate prices play a large role in the energy industry, and the prior four-year price pattern for US steel plate tells an interesting story. As my colleague Raul noted, “For the past four years, steel prices have shown similar patterns. Prices fell during Q3 and through October, with the trend reversing at the end of October/November through Q1 of the following year. This year, the pattern looks a little different. Prices held fairly flat during Q3, showing less of an upward trend like [in] prior years…We heard many people calling for rising prices in this last quarter, but the raw material market does not reflect that.”

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We do not see any signals that suggest this monthly index will show much fluctuation in the short term.

The monthly Renewables MMI® registered a value of 68 in November, on par with October’s value.

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The price of silicon rose 3.7 percent over the past month, the second straight month of gains. Japanese steel plate saw its price rise 2.8 percent. The price of US steel plate closed the month up 0.5 percent.

US grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) declined 4.8 percent over the month. Note: MetalMiner did not formally publish an October GOES report due to the government shutdown, but November data reflects the change from the October value. The value of Chinese cobalt cathodes weakened by 2.4 percent this month. Chinese steel plate fell 1.8 percent.

Neodymium traded sideways last month, staying around the $73,000-$74,000 per metric ton range. Last month was consistent for Korean steel plate, which did not move.

The Renewables MMI® collects and weights 8 metal price points used extensively within the renewable energy industry to provide a unique view into renewable energy metal price trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the Renewables MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.