Last month MetalMiner made the following statement: “The impact on Grain Oriented Electrical steel buying organizations, MetalMiner believes, will not exactly mirror the broader impact of the tariffs on commonly purchased steel forms, alloys and grades.”

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We don’t always get it right but indeed, GOES M3 prices fell last month in comparison to across-the-board price increases for all or nearly all other carbon flat rolled product categories.

Meanwhile, although MetalMiner knows of one buying organization pursuing an exclusion request via the recently published exclusion process, no company has yet to file one (at least as of April 11). That will change as GOES imports continue to arrive.

This month import levels jumped, as did Japanese imports, in particular.

Source: MetalMiner analysis of ITC trade data

Of note, Chinese imports remain negligible (240 tons) and no imports came from South Korea.

What About the Section 301 Investigation?

A quick search revealed that the 301 investigation also includes grain-oriented electrical steel with HTS Codes: 72261110, 72261190, 72261910 and 72261990 — basically “alloy silicon electrical steel (grain-oriented) of various widths.”

However, the 301 investigation does not include either transformer parts (8504.90.9546) or wound cores (8504.90.9542), both of which could come into the U.S. under current prevailing market treatment.

MetalMiner will update readers when/if President Trump publishes a proclamation on the 301 investigation.

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Exact GOES Coil Price This Month

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This morning in metals news, big firms Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel are delaying the signing of a previously agreed to joint venture for their European operations, Chinese steel is retracing and  LME zinc has hit a four-month low.

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Thyssenkrupp, Tata Delay Inking Deal

A joint-venture deal between Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel is being delayed due to ongoing talks between the latter firm and workers in Britain and the Netherlands, Reuters reported.

The German and Indian firms agreed in principle last fall to a deal that would combine their European steel operations.

Chinese Steel Loses Ground

Profits were up significantly for many Chinese steelmakers in 2017, but that momentum could be running out of steam soon, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.

According to the report, falling prices and the U.S.’s metals tariffs could eat into Chinese steelmakers’ earnings. According to the Review’s report, shares of five big Chinese steelmakers (including China’s largest, Baoshan Iron and Steel) have dipped between 12% and 17% since the end of February.

Zinc Falls to Four-Month Low

Zinc has hit a four-month low, partly on the basis of slow Chinese demand pick-up, Reuters reported.

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LME zinc dropped 2.7% Thursday, its lowest since Dec. 12.