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DJ GrafTech Sees Recovery in Global Steel Markets -- Commodity Comment

· 02/05/2021 07:09

By Mary de Wet

GrafTech International Ltd. said it is seeing improvement in global steel markets and it expects higher demand for the graphite electrodes it makes.

Graphite electrode products are essential to the production of electric arc furnace steel and other ferrous and non-ferrous metals, GrafTech said.

On steel markets:

"Late in 2020, we began seeing a measured recovery in the global steel markets with improvement in steel pricing and capacity utilization rates. In the fourth quarter of 2020, both the global (ex-China) and U.S. steel market capacity utilization rates improved to over 72%," GrafTech said, citing statistics from World Steel Association and Metal Expert and the American Iron and Steel Institute.

President and Chief Executive David Rintoul said, "As we look forward, the environmental and economic advantages of electric arc furnace steel production position both that industry and the graphite electrode industry for long-term growth."

"As we move through 2021, we believe that the improvement in steel industry metrics will subsequently result in improved demand for graphite electrodes," Mr. Rintoul said.

"The current market for graphite electrodes continues to be competitive, as our industry lags the improving fundamentals in the steel industry. If the strength in the steel industry continues, we would expect the graphite electrode market to improve as we move further into 2021," he said.

"We remain encouraged with the long-term growth opportunity given the benefits of electric arc furnace steel production, and we believe GrafTech is well positioned for success."

Write to Mary de Wet at mary.dewet@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 05, 2021 07:09 ET (12:09 GMT)

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