Grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) prices do not often follow the pattern of price increases for other forms of steel.
However, December’s data suggests otherwise.
In addition to prices moving in a similar direction, import levels also followed similar patterns, although GOES imports showed a dramatically higher increase whereas finished steel imports grew by 14.5% on an annualized basis according to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).
Moreover, the big increases for steel products included tubular products (OCTG, line pipe, standard pipe, mechanical tubing) while cold-rolled sheet imports rose 18%.
GOES imports, on the other hand, saw significantly higher import growth rates:
|Total GOES Import Levels (MT) and % Change|
Source: International Trade Administration and MetalMiner analysis
Japanese imports have a 66% market share on average of total U.S. grain oriented electrical steel imports.
Perhaps more striking – Japan’s share of overall finished steel imports to the U.S. declined by 13.7% compared to last year, according to AISI.
Germany, Taiwan and Brazil had the highest growth numbers from a finished steel export perspective. South Korea, Turkey, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Brazil, in that order, make up the largest finished steel exporters to the U.S.
So what explains the Japanese anomaly of growing imports for GOES?
Increased domestic efficiency standards have led to the development of higher performance electrical steels (HB), which have taken share away from the more conventional grades produced by the sole U.S. producer. With no U.S. producer of these grades, the market has become more reliant on exports from Japan.
GOES imports from China and Korea remain small and negligible, respectively.
Exact GOES Coil Price This Month
The U.S. grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) coil price increased this month from $2,507/mt to $2608/mt. The Monthly Metals Index (MMI) value jumped 7 points to 189.
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.