This Morning in Metals: U.S. Steel announces startup of EAF in Alabama

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electric arc furnace

Scanrail/Adobe Stock

This morning in metals news: U.S. Steel on Monday announced the startup of a new electric arc furnace (EAF) in Fairfield, Alabama; WTI crude dipped below $39 per barrel; and the International Aluminum Institute released global alumina production data.

The MetalMiner 2021 Annual Outlook consolidates our 12-month view and provides buying organizations with a complete understanding of the fundamental factors driving prices and a detailed forecast that can be used when sourcing metals for 2021 — including expected average prices, support and resistance levels.

U.S. Steel announces new EAF in Alabama

First up today, U.S. Steel this week announced the successful startup of a new EAF in Fairfield, Alabama.

“The EAF significantly enhances our ability to deliver customer-centric solutions and results,” U.S. Steel President and CEO David Burritt said. “We made a commitment to add electric arc steelmaking to our operating footprint as part of our ‘Best of Both’ strategy. This successful start-up delivers on that promise, and I am very pleased with the way our people safely accomplished this while navigating the disruptive influences of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In addition, the EAF will have an annual steelmaking capacity of 1.6 million tons, U.S. Steel said.

WTI crude below $39 per barrel

Next up, as readers of our Annual Outlook report know, oil prices are one of three macroeconomic price drivers MetalMiner tracks vis-a-vis commodity markets.

Per the Energy Information Administration, the WTI crude price closed Monday at $38.56 per barrel. The closing price marked a decline of $2.27 per barrel from the previous week.

Meanwhile, a year ago the price stood at $56.66 per barrel.

Alumina output down in September

Finally, global alumina production reached 10,717 metric tonnes in September, per the International Aluminum Institute.

Meanwhile, the figure marked a decline from August’s 11,404 metric tonnes. However, the September 2020 figure fell only slightly on a year-over-year basis (10,838 metric tonnes in September 2019).

Furthermore, China’s estimated alumina production reached 5,855 metric tonnes in September, down from 6,050 metric tonnes the previous month.

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