As MetalMiner’s monthly Renewables MMI® – a price index of metals used exclusively in the renewable energy industry – rose 1.6 percent for July, up to 65, the big renewables story looming in the background is General Electric Co (GE)’s accepted bid and impending takeover of France’s Alstom.
The French government finally ended up going with GE’s bid over that of Germany’s Siemens, which is a quite a coup, since the European industry as a whole doesn’t really want this big an American competitive presence on their soil. Siemens now has a much bigger competitor on their block to deal with. As the WSJ recently put it: “The battle for Alstom shows how lofty European goals can get undermined by personal and corporate rivalries; a thicket of European Union antitrust rules; and the erratic conduct of governments defending national—rather than regional—interests.”
So what are the facts, and what does it all mean?
GE-Alstom Tie-Up Details
According to GE’s site, here is the nitty-gritty behind the $16.9 billion overall offer, and what it would mean for the renewables sector:
“Once closed, GE and Alstom would form three joint ventures:
- Grid: the combined Grid assets of GE and Alstom
- Renewables: Alstom’s Off-shore Wind and Hydro businesses
- Global Nuclear and French Steam: Alstom’s production and servicing of equipment for nuclear power plants, and development and sales of new nuclear equipment around the world; and Alstom’s steam turbine equipment and servicing for applications in France.”
If the GE-Alstom deal goes through, it would give GE tremendous purchasing power. However, Reuters just reported that Alstom’s minority shareholders have been making waves, expressing concern over the French government’s influence in the deal, which will have to be approved by two-thirds of the shareholders in a Q4 2014 meeting. We’ll keep an eye on this for any more key developments.
Key Metal Price Movements
After dropping the previous month, US grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) coil prices rose 7.7 percent to $3,112 per short ton. Check out our GOES MMI®, publishing next week! At $866.00 per short ton, the price of US steel plate finished the month 2.1 percent higher. This was the second straight month of increases for US plate.
Chinese steel plate prices fell 3.2 percent to $585.06 per metric ton. Neodymium fell a slight 2.4 percent over the past month to $65,275 per metric ton. At $33,040 per metric ton, Chinese cobalt cathodes was down 1.0 percent for the month.
Last month was consistent for silicon, which did not move from $2,297 per metric ton. Prices for Korean steel plate remained constant this past month, holding at around $889.29 per metric ton. At a price of $750.21 per metric ton, Japanese steel plate did not budge the entire month.
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.