GrafTech is hopeful about the environmental and economic advantages presented by electric arc furnace (EAF) steel production, which, in turn, will benefit steelmaking as well as its graphite electrode business.
Both sectors are positioned for continued long-term growth, GrafTech noted in its Q3 2020 earnings report, despite current market conditions and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s plants have maintained operations during the pandemic, in line with steel markets, and remained at 98pc for on-time deliveries.
Looking ahead, the steel market provider expects its graphite electrode, full-year sales volumes from long-term agreements (LTA) to be above its projected range of 100,000-115,000mt.
In January-September 2020, GrafTech’s production volume declined by 27.9pc to 98,000mt from 136,000mt in the same 2019 period. Production in Q3 2020 fell by 20pc to 32,000mt from 40,000mt in Q3 2019.
The company operated at a capacity utilization of 57pc for the first nine months of 2020 compared to 80pc during the same period last year. In Q3, capacity utilization was at 58pc compared with 73pc in Q3 2019.
The EAF supplier’s sales volumes were consistent with production at 98,000mt in January-September 2020 compared with 130,000mt during the first nine months of 2019. Sales volume in Q3 2020 stood at 33,000mt compared with 40,000 mt in Q3 2019.