The much-publicized joint venture between Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp will now go under the magnifying glass of the European Commission due to “preliminary competition concerns” around steel for automotive applications, metallic coated steel for packaging and grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES).
According to a press release from the European Commission, the commission has concerns about reduced choice of suppliers and higher prices impacting buying organizations.
The commission has until March 19, 2019 to make a decision on the planned venture.
The concerns remain valid, as GOES remains a highly concentrated supply market (as well as buying market). Any reduction in the number of European players will add pricing power to producers.
ABB, AK Steel Battle on Exclusion Request
Tracking the exemption requests from Section 232 steel tariffs remains a challenge.
MetalMiner missed the fact that ABB had initially received an exclusion from the Department of Commerce for GOES this summer. That exclusion request was granted and then denied once AK Steel filed an objection.
As we reported last month, ABB challenged AK’s objection. In a series of rebuttals, AK recently filed another comment challenging ABB’s arguments that AK material does not meet its performance and quality requirements around “white edge,” that AK’s material is, “more prone to creating holes than the process employed by Nippon.”
AK took issue with these assertions by filing a comment challenging the fact that no country standard or other customer has a requirement or references “white edge” and that, therefore, the argument appears arbitrary.
However, ABB will likely respond with the regulatory threshold argument required for making exclusion requests: “Specifically, ABB used the BIS standard for exclusion requests regarding product substitution, “a ‘substitute product’ must meet “quality (e.g., … internal company quality controls or standards) … or testing standards, in order for the U.S. produced steel to be used in that business activity in the United States by that end user” (83 Fed. Reg.46026, 46058).
In addition, as MetalMiner reported previously, ABB argued that the actual data from 2016-2018 certified test reports using ASTM A804 test standards did not meet iron loss and core loss requirements.
The parties have until Nov. 12 to submit additional comments.
Exact GOES Coil Price This Month
The U.S. grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES) M3 coil price held relatively flat moving from $2,421/mt to $2,434/mt.
The GOES Monthly Metals Index (MMI) moved one point from 175 to 176. MetalMiner received additional data after last month’s publication that lowered the GOES M3 MMI from 182 to 175.
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.