The monthly Renewables MMI® dropped 4.4 percent for December, mainly driven by the huge dropoff in the grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) price, even though steel plate prices were mixed.
In GOES News: AK Steel-ATI Ruling
The International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a preliminary ruling recently that AK Steel and Allegheny Technologies Inc. (ATI) were in the right regarding their anti-dumping case against GOES importers. Even more recently, the ITC ruled again in favor of AK Steel and ATI in their non-oriented electrical steel case (NOES). The cases now move on to the Commerce Department. How can we explain the plunge in our GOES price (below)? Stay tuned.
One Key Metric
US power construction spending decreased in October 2013, down 3.7% from last month and more than 15% from one year ago, which coincides with our monthly Renewables MMI® drop. While spending increased dramatically during Q3/Q4 2012 compared to the year’s first half, that trend is certainly not being repeated in 2013. More on this correlation in our monthly GOES MMI®, to be published next week.
Outlook for Renewable Energy Industries
A couple weeks ago, Renewable Energy World reported that the outlook for the solar side of the house was rather rosy, with the key themes being that “demand in Asia is rising, Europe is stabilizing, and manufacturers are starting to ramp up production again.” Associate editor James Montgomery points out that solar photovoltaic (PV) “manufacturers are opening their wallets again: global capital spending is predicted to surge 42 percent to $3.3 billion in 2014, and another 32 percent to $4.3 billion in 2015,” supporting it with this:
However, industry pub North American Wind Power points to a new report by MAKE Consulting, noting that while offshore wind power growth is expected to remain solid in Europe and China, “development in the Americas will be limited to a few demonstration projects this decade, with significant growth expected only beyond 2020.”
Key Price Drivers
Following a 16.2 percent decline, US grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) reached $3,043 per short ton. Japanese steel plate dropped 4 percent last month, hitting around $722 per metric ton. Chinese steel plate closed the month at $618.61 per metric ton after dropping 1.3 percent. Chinese cobalt cathodes fell 2.5 percent to $32,161 per metric ton.
US steel plate prices inched up 2.3 percent to $761.00 per short ton. Korean steel plate rose slightly, ending up at $850.26 per metric ton. The price of silicon held steady around $2,273 per metric ton last month. Prices for neodymium remained constant this past month, holding at around $73,839 per metric ton.
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.