Trade Wars Merely Distort Global GOES Markets

It has become difficult to ascertain if any party that sells it, or those that buy it, have received any benefit from the spate of trade cases involving grain-oriented electrical steel.

Free Sample Report: Our April Metal Buying Outlook

The most recent case involves the Chinese producers Wuhan Iron & Steel and Baoshan Iron & Steel who brought an anti-dumping action against Japanese and Korean producers of grain-oriented electrical steel. Provisional duties of 45.7% to Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, 39% to JFE Steel and 14.5% to POSCO with final duties to be determined during Q3 of this year, according to a recent TEX Report.

High-Grade Materials

The industry knows, however, that only the three mills named in that case can provide the high-grade materials needed to produce transformers that meet higher efficiency standards imposed by governments the world over, including China.


For sure, the domestic Chinese producers will likely reap a small bump in prices but their customers, the global transformer and power equipment producers, will make adjustments as required, as well.

And now, here in the U.S., it appears as though ABB, one of the largest global transformer and power equipment producers has challenged the results of how the U.S. Department of Commerce calculated dumping margins on Korean producers of transformers Hyosung Corp. and Hyundai Heavy Industries. Those duties were assessed at 114.09% – 9.40% to multiple firms.

We don’t mean to suggest trade cases in general lack merit. In fact, they serve as an excellent means of redress particularly in a world awash with surplus steel. After all, the U.K. is about to lose its last major steel operation precisely because its government refused to take an aggressive stand against dumped goods and create general pro-U.K. manufacturing policies.

China serves as the primary culprit in many of these trade actions, producing far more steel than the country can possibly consume, not only in GOES but also hot-rolled coil and hot-dipped galvanized steel.

Compare Prices With The March 2016 MMI Report

Though the U.S. M3 spot GOES price moved up this month, we don’t see the trade case here in the U.S. having a lasting impact.

Exact GOES Coil Price This Month

The U.S. grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) coil rose from $2,554 per metric ton to $2,796 per mt.

The GOES MMI® collects and weights 1 global grain-oriented electrical steel price point to provide a unique view into price trends over a 30-day period. For more information on the GOES MMI®, how it’s calculated or how your company can use the index, please drop us a note at: info (at) agmetalminer (dot) com.

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