Business news from Ukraine

“Metinvest” cuts steel production by 4% and coke by 11%

“In January-March this year, Metinvest reduced steel production by 4% year-on-year and by 5% quarter-on-quarter to 469 thousand tons, according to a press release from the parent company Metinvest B.V.

According to the release, pig iron production decreased by 10% compared to Q1-2023 and by 5% compared to Q4-2023, to 448 thousand tons, and coke production by 11% and 3%, respectively, to 283 thousand tons. In particular, in 1Q2024, Kametstal produced 403 thousand tons of pig iron and 469 thousand tons of crude steel, which is lower than in 2023 and is mainly due to the shutdown of blast furnace No. 9 for scheduled overhaul in March 2024.

In 1Q2024, the output of semi-finished products amounted to 166 thousand tons, down 5% compared to 1Q2023 and 41% quarter-on-quarter, mainly due to the shutdown of BF-9 at Kametstal for repairs, as well as an increase in domestic consumption at downstream stages.

In the first quarter of 2024, finished product output increased by 4% quarter-on-quarter and by 8% year-on-year to 584 thousand tons. At the same time, flat products output increased by 12% compared to Q1-2014, but decreased by 1% compared to Q4-2013, to 282 thousand tonnes, due to an increase in the order book at rolling mills in Italy and the UK, while long products output decreased by 3% compared to Q1-2013, and increased by 17% compared to Q4-2014, to 302 thousand tonnes.

In particular, hot-rolled plate output increased by 8% year-on-year to 253 kt due to a shift in the order book in favor of these products at Ferriera Valider in Italy; galvanized cold-rolled coil output doubled year-on-year to 29 kt. tonnes due to the resumption of galvanized cold-rolled steel production in Italy; production of galvanized cold-rolled coils doubled year-on-year to 29 thousand tonnes. kt due to the resumption of production at Unisteel in Ukraine amid more stable electricity supplies in the first quarter of 2024 than in the first quarter of 2023; long products output increased by 17% as billet production at Kametstal stabilized and supplies to Promet Steel in Bulgaria returned to normal.

It should be noted that on February 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine. The Group’s plants in Ukraine, except for Mariupol and Avdiivka, continue to operate at different levels of capacity utilization, taking into account safety, personnel, electricity, logistics and economic factors.

In the first quarter of 2024, coke production decreased by 11% year-on-year and by 3% quarter-on-quarter to 283 thousand tons after some cells of coke oven battery No. 1 at KAMETSTAL were shut down.

It is also reported that Metinvest increased its total production of iron ore concentrate by 2.1 times year-on-year to 4.859 million tons in January-March 2024, pellets by 31% to 1.585 million tons, and total coking coal concentrate production decreased by 26% to 1.086 million tons.

“As a result, in the first quarter of 2024, iron ore production increased by 36% quarter-on-quarter to 4.859 million tons; production of commercial iron ore products increased by 41% quarter-on-quarter to 4.403 million tons; production of saleable iron ore concentrate increased by 53% quarter-on-quarter to 2.818 million tons; production of saleable pellets increased by 23% quarter-on-quarter to 1.585 million tons, partly due to increased orders for pellets,” the press release states.

The unblocking of Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea and an increase in the order book for pellets had the following effects in 1Q2024 compared to 1Q2023: gross iron ore concentrate output increased by 2.2 times, commercial iron ore products by 2.3 times, commercial iron ore concentrate by 4 times, and commercial pellets by 31%, the report says.

The press release explains that the Group’s decrease in coal concentrate output by 4% quarter-on-quarter and 26% year-on-year was due to a 6% drop in production at Metinvest Pokrovskugol in Q4 2021 and a 9% drop in production in Q1 2021, to 640 thousand tons, and a deterioration in the quality of coking coal and a decline in production. At the same time, the production of coal concentrate at United Coal (USA) remained almost at the same level as in the previous quarter – 446 thousand tons, but decreased by 41% due to the downtime of the Carter Roag mine and a decrease in production at some Wellmore mines.

As reported, in 2023, Metinvest increased its total production of iron ore concentrate by 4% compared to 2022 to 11.092 million tons, pellets by 66% to 5.283 million tons, and total coking coal concentrate production increased by 10% to 5.455 million tons.

In 2023, the Group decreased steel production by 31% compared to 2022 to 2.025 million tons, pig iron by 36% to 1.765 million tons, and coke by 25% to 1.241 million tons.

“Metinvest comprises mining and metallurgical enterprises located in Ukraine, Europe and the United States. Metinvest’s major shareholders are SCM Group (71.24%) and Smart Holding (23.76%), which jointly manage the company. Metinvest Holding LLC is the management company of Metinvest Group.

“Metinvest Group comprises mining and metallurgical enterprises located in Ukraine, Europe and the USA.

The major shareholders of Metinvest are SCM Group (71.24%) and Smart Holding (23.76%), which jointly manage the company.

Metinvest Holding LLC is the management company of Metinvest Group.

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Odesa-based Bloomi has increased production by almost 40%

Blumi LLC (Odesa), a manufacturer of sanitary and hygienic paper products under the Snow Panda brand, produced products worth UAH 149.6 million in January-April, up 38.5% compared to the same period in 2023. According to statistics provided by Ukrpapir Association to Interfax-Ukraine, in physical terms, in particular, the production of toilet paper increased by 31.5% to 18.3 million rolls.

As reported, in just four months, the major manufacturers of sanitary paper products produced 210.6 million rolls of paper, up 10% year-on-year.

Bloomi, which was registered in 2014, produces pulp-based sanitary products (toilet paper, napkins, towels) from imported raw paper. The products are manufactured at the facilities of Omega Brokers PE, one of the leading Ukrainian manufacturers of detergents, disinfectants and sanitary products.

In 2023, the company almost doubled its production volume by 2022 to UAH 367.3 million.

The company is co-owned equally (25% each) by four Odesa-based entrepreneurs.

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“Ukrtruboprom” increased pipe production by 12.6%

In January-March this year, Ukrtruboprom enterprises increased pipe production by 12.6% year-on-year to 142.5 thousand tons.

According to the company’s data on Tuesday, in January 2024, it produced 52.5 thousand tons of pipe products (174.4% compared to January 2023), in February – 41.4 thousand tons (105.1% compared to February 2023), in March – 48.6 thousand tons (85.1% compared to March 2023).

In the first quarter, almost all pipe companies showed positive dynamics. In particular, Interpipe Nico Tube and Trubostal increased production of seamless pipes by 11.5% and 75%, respectively, Centravis increased production of stainless pipes by 13.8%, and Interpipe NMTZ and Ukrtruboizol increased production of electric-welded pipes by 69.2% and 714.3%, respectively. Only Oscar’s pipe production decreased by 43.2%.

Ukrtruboprom CEO Georgy Polsky stated that the positive results of the first quarter of 2024 were primarily due to the low comparison base of the previous year, when the industry operated under strict electricity consumption limits. This led to an increase in production “on paper”.

“In reality, the rate of pipe production is slowing down, and in March, a 15% decline was recorded. The main reason is a significant increase in imports of steel pipes from China to Ukraine at dumping prices, which are supported by Chinese government subsidies,” Mr. Polsky emphasized.

He also added that the US and the EU have recently been actively working to develop and implement protectionist measures that will limit the flow of Chinese goods into their markets. The Ukrainian steel pipe market also needs protection from dumped imports from China, the Ukrtruboprom CEO summarized.

As reported, Ukrtruboprom’s enterprises increased production by 10.2% to 495.6 thousand tons in 2023, but could have done more if the volume of Chinese products in the domestic market had declined.

In particular, Interpipe Niko Tube increased its production of seamless pipes by 13.3%, while Trubostal reduced its output by 42.5%. Ukrtruboizol increased production of electric-welded pipes by 43.8%, while Interpipe NMTZ decreased production by 53.8%. “Centravis increased production of stainless pipes by 11.7%. Oscar’s pipe production decreased by 30.5%.

At the same time, it was specified that in January 2023, the company produced 30.1 thousand tons of pipe products (44.9% compared to January 2022), in February – 39.4 thousand tons (80.4% compared to February 2022), in March – 57.1 thousand tons (1631.4% compared to March 2022), in March – 57.1 thousand tons (1631.4% compared to March 2022). tons (1631.4% compared to March 2022), in April – 42.3 thousand tons (228.6% compared to April 2022), in May – 49.6 thousand tons (96.5% compared to May 2022), in June – 35 thousand tons (67.8% compared to June 2022). In July 2023, the company produced 43.9 thousand tons of pipes (112% compared to July 2022), in August – 41.8 thousand tons (114.5%), in September – 36.9 thousand tons (89.9%), in October – 39.7 thousand tons (98%), in November – 37.2 thousand tons (110.1%) and in December – 42.4 thousand tons (239.5%).

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“Ukrgasvydobuvannya” increased gas production by 12%

In January-March 2024, Ukrgasvydobuvannya JSC increased gas production by 12% compared to the same period in 2023, Naftogaz reports on its website without specifying the final figure.

“This is the result of the launch of new productive wells, as well as effective work with the old stock. Our goal is to maintain this trend and reach production growth by the end of the year,” Naftogaz CEO Oleksiy Chernyshev said in a statement.

According to him, traditionally, the highest production rates are in the east of the country, but in the west and central regions, the plan was also exceeded.

“Every gas production department of Ukrgasvydobuvannya, despite the shelling and sometimes even the lack of electricity supply, is meeting the gas production targets for this year. At the same time, there are risks, we understand that there may be shelling. However, the company will do everything possible to continue to meet the country’s needs,” added the company’s CEO Oleh Tolmachov.

As reported, in 2022, UGV produced 12.5 bcm of natural gas (commercial), which is 3% less than in 2021. At the end of 2023, the company’s commercial gas production amounted to 13.224 billion cubic meters, which is 0.679 billion cubic meters more than in 2022.

NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine owns 100% of Ukrgasvydobuvannya shares.

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Ostchem’s plants increased fertilizer production by only 1% due to 35% increase in imports

The plants of nitrogen holding Ostchem produced 520.6 thousand tons of mineral fertilizers in the first quarter of 2024, which is only 1% more than in the first quarter of 2023 (515.5 thousand tons), the holding said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The growth in production of the Ukrainian chemical industry has stopped due to the uncontrolled growth in fertilizer imports from Poland, as well as Russia-friendly Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan,” the company said.

According to the company, in the first quarter of 2024, fertilizer imports increased by 35% to 701.2 thousand tons.

It is specified that Cherkasy Azot produced 404.3 thousand tons in January-March this year, while Rivne Azot produced 128 thousand tons of fertilizers.

According to the report, the production structure remains fairly stable: ammonium nitrate is the leader (246 thousand tons produced), followed by urea-ammonium nitrate (UAN) (123.8 thousand tons) and urea (123.5 thousand tons). Production of limestone-ammonium nitrate (LAM) increased slightly year-on-year to 15.8 thousand tons, and ammonia to 9.08 thousand tons.

Ostchem noted that it met its obligations in full during the spring sowing season, but in 2024 the negative industry trend intensified, with fertilizer imports significantly exceeding domestic production.

“In the first quarter of 2024, imports amounted to 701.2 thsd tonnes, exceeding domestic production by 35%. Imports continue to kill domestic production: four fertilizer producers have already been shut down – OPP, Dniproazot, Rivneazot and Sumykhimprom,” commented Oleg Arestarkhov, Head of Corporate Communications at Group DF.

It is noted that Ukrainian producers continue to lose ground in the Ukrainian market in most fertilizer segments, except for UAN.

“First of all, Ukrainian chemical plants are dramatically losing the urea market: in the first quarter, Ukraine produced 123.5 thousand tons of urea, while imports amounted to 181 thousand tons. 88% of all imported urea came from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, countries friendly to Russia,” Arestarkhov added.

According to him, Poland is also strengthening its position as the largest importer of fertilizers to Ukraine, as it is currently flooded with cheap Russian and Belarusian fertilizers that are not subject to EU sanctions, which is why all the excess fertilizers from the Polish market are being redirected to Ukraine.

According to Ostchem, in 2023, Poland imported 1.016 million tons of urea, of which urea from Russia accounted for 34% (345 thousand tons). At the same time, in the first quarter of 2024, Poland has already become the undisputed leader among importers of such fertilizers as ammonium nitrate (52 thousand tons out of 109.7 thousand tons of total imports), ammonium sulfate nitrate (7.9 thousand tons out of 9.4 thousand tons), UAN (17.4 thousand tons), and NPK (63.2 thousand tons out of 144.3 thousand tons) in the Ukrainian market.

In the first quarter, Ukraine imported 121.9 thousand tons of sulphate (China is the leader with 75.3 thousand tons) and 74.6 thousand tons of superphosphate (Bulgaria – 37.3 thousand tons and Greece – 27.4 thousand tons),

“Unfortunately, behind the loud slogans of Ukrainian government officials within the Buy Ukrainian campaign, there are no practical steps to reduce imports and protect the Ukrainian fertilizer producer,” Arestarkhov emphasized, recalling the specific proposals of the Ukrainian Chemists Union to protect the domestic market that were submitted to the government.

Ostchem is the nitrogen holding of Dmitry Firtash’s Group DF, which unites the largest mineral fertilizer producers in Ukraine. Since 2011, it has included Rivne Azot and Cherkasy Azot, as well as Severodonetsk Azot and Stirol, which are out of operation and located in the occupied territories.

Cherkasy Azot PrJSC (Cherkasy, Ukraine) is one of the largest Ukrainian chemical companies. Its design production capacity is 962.7 thousand tons per year of ammonia, 970 thousand tons per year of ammonium nitrate, 891.6 thousand tons of urea, and 1 million tons per year of UAN.

Rivne Azot is one of the largest Ukrainian chemical companies in Western Ukraine. On April 12, 2024, Group DF and South Korean Hyundai Engineering signed an agreement to build a chemical hub in Rivne. The project envisages the construction of green ammonia and hydrogen plants based on renewable energy sources; new enterprises and production sites for nitrogen fertilizers and chemical derivatives.

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Ukraine increased steel production by 16% in March

Metallurgical enterprises of Ukraine in March of this year increased steel production by 15.8% compared to the same period in 2023 – to 611 thousand tons from 527 thousand tons.

At the same time, Ukraine took 21st place in the ranking of 71 countries – global producers of these products, compiled by the World Steel Association (Worldsteel).

According to Worldsteel, in March an increase in steel production was recorded by March 2023 in most countries of the top ten, except China, Japan and South Korea.

The top ten steel-producing countries at the end of March are as follows: China (88.270 million tons, a decrease of 7.8% compared to March 2023), India (12.709 million tons, an increase of 7.8%), Japan (7.197 million tons , decrease by 3.9%), USA (6.906 million tons, at the level of March 2023), Russia (6.640 million tons, increase by 0.8%), South Korea (5.282 million tons, down by 9.5%) , Germany (3.510 million tons, up 8.4%), Turkey (3.202 million tons, up 18%), Brazil (2.787 million tons, up 5.6%) and Iran (2.774 million tons, up 2 %).

In total, in March 2024, steel production decreased by 4.3% compared to the same period in 2023 – to 161.190 million tons.

In January-March 2024, the top ten steel producing countries are as follows: China (256.550 million tons, a decrease of 1.9% compared to January-March 2023), India (37.327 million tons, an increase of 9.7%), Japan ( 21.452 million tons, down 0.8%), USA (19.936 million tons, down 1.6%), Russia (18.680 million tons, down 0.2%), South Korea (16.245 million tons, down 2 .5%), Germany (9.704 million tons, an increase of 6%), Turkey (9.533 million tons, an increase of 28.4%), Brazil (8.293 million tons, an increase of 6.2%) and Iran (7.616 million tons , higher by 16.3%).

In general, over the 3 months of 2024, steel production increased by 0.5% compared to the same period in 2023 – to 469.060 million tons.

At the same time, Ukraine produced 1.687 million tons of steel in 3 months of 2024, which is 36.6% higher than the volumes for the same period in 2023 (for 3 months of 2023 – 1.235 million tons). The country is in 22nd place based on the results of 3 months – 2024.

As reported, in 2023, China produced 1 billion 19.080 million tons at the level of the previous year), India (140.171 million tons, +11.8%), Japan (86.996 million tons, -2.5%), USA (80.664 million tons , +0.2%), Russia (75.8 million tons, +5.6%), South Korea (66.676 million tons, +1.3%), Germany (35.438 million tons, -3.9%), Turkey (33.714 million tons, -4%), Brazil (31.869 million tons, -6.5%) and Iran (31.139 million tons, +1.8%).

In total, 71 countries produced 1 billion 849.734 million tons of steel in 2023, which is 0.1% less than in 2022.

At the same time, Ukraine produced 6.228 million tons of steel in 2023, which is 0.6% lower than the volumes for 2022. The country is in 22nd place by the end of 2023.

At the end of 2022, the top ten steel producing countries looked like this: China (1.013 billion tons, -2.1%), India (124.720 million tons, +5.5%), Japan (89.235 million tons, -7.4 %), USA (80.715 million tons, -5.9%), Russia (71.5 million tons, -7.2%), South Korea (65.865 million tons, -6.5%), Germany (36.849 million tons , -8.4%), Turkey (35.134 million tons, -12.9%), Brazil (33.972 million tons, -5.8%) and Iran (30.593 million tons, +8%).

At the end of 2022, Ukraine took 23rd place with the production of 6.263 million tons of steel (-70.7%).

In total, in 2022, 64 countries produced 1 billion 831.467 million tons of steel, which is 4.3% less than in 2021.

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