GOES Price Drags Renewable Energy Index Lower for February

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MetalMiner’s index of metals used in the renewable energy sector is looking like quite the sick patient lately.

The monthly Renewables MMI® registered a value of 63 in February, a decrease of 1.6 percent from 64 in January.

One of the key components of the index, our grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) price, suffered a slight loss this month. Indeed, GOES has been in the news quite a bit recently, as MetalMiner has been covering the anti-dumping case lodged by AK Steel and ATI against foreign producers – which could very well backfire on these two US GOES producers.

The central issue is that AK Steel and ATI may already have killed their own GOES goose by forcing power transformer manufacturers’ production abroad, where they can have access to and obtain cheaper foreign GOES material.

Meanwhile, other components, such as neodymium and Asian steel plate, also dropped, contributing to the index’s drift.

Compare with last month’s trends – here’s our free January MMI® Report.

Wherefore Go GOES Prices?

Before we smack ourselves for that terrible piece of wordplay, let’s get into where we think this market is headed.

In an article published today, MetalMiner executive editor Lisa Reisman indicated that some sources in the market, including Ben Ehmcke, president of Ehmcke Consulting and former director of sourcing for Power Partners, a US transformer producer, believe GOES prices in the US will see increases, while global prices should remain somewhat depressed due to oversupply.

However, although “domestic-only buyers should plan for a budget increase for their GOES spend for the longer term…the domestic producers will remain pressured to grab as much volume as possible, so MetalMiner doesn’t view a price hike as a given.”

Key Price Drivers

US grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) fell a slight 0.6 percent over the past month.

US steel plate rose 1.1 percent. Chinese cobalt cathodes saw its price rise 0.8 percent. Silicon from China finished the month up 0.4 percent per metric ton.

* Get the complete prices every day on the MetalMiner IndX℠

Our neodymium price dropped just over 400 yuan last month in the local Chinese market. Chinese steel plate basically remained unchanged. Korean steel plate dipped only slightly. The Japanese steel plate price rose a tiny bit for US buyers.

Don’t forget to read January 2014 MMI analysis before February’s full report comes out next week!

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.