Business news from Ukraine

Ukraine doubles steel output and ranks 22nd in Worldsteel ranking

Metallurgical enterprises of Ukraine in April this year increased steel production by 2.04 times compared to the same period last year – up to 574 thousand tons from 281 thousand tons.
In March 2023 it was smelted 527 thousand tons of steel.
In this case, Ukraine took 22nd place in the ranking of 63 countries – the world’s main producers of these products, compiled by the World Steel Association (Worldsteel).
According to Worldsteel, in April 2023 recorded a decline in steel production to April 2022 in most of the top ten countries, except India, South Korea, Russia and Iran.
The top ten steel-producing countries in April are as follows: China (92.640 million tons, down 1.5% on April-2022), India (10.721 million tons, up 3.2%), Japan (7.239 million tons, “minus” 3.1%), USA (6.586 million tons, “minus” 5.3%), RF (6.380 million tons, “plus” 1.9%), South Korea (5,689 mln tons, more by 3%), Germany (3,197 mln tons, decreasing by 3,8%), Iran (3,063 mln tons, increasing by 5,9%), Brazil (2,773 mln tons, minus 5,9%) and Turkey (2,678 mln tons, less by 20,6%).
Overall, steel production in April this year decreased by 2.4% compared to the same period last year to 161.377 million tons.
For the four months of 2023, the top ten steel-producing countries are as follows: China (354.390 million tons, up 4.1%), India (43.897 million tons, up 3%), Japan (28.861 million tons, down 5.3%), USA (26.061 million tons, down 4.1%), Russia (25.094 million tons, down 0.6%), South Korea (22.355 million tons, minus 0.4%), Germany (12.354 million tons, down 5.9%), Brazil (10.585 million tons, minus 8.8%), Turkey (10.1 million tons, down 21.3%) and Iran (9.710 million tons, up 0.1%).
A total of 63 countries produced 622.736 million tons of steel in January-April, which is 0.3% less than during the same period in 2022.
In this case, Ukraine produced 1.809 million tons of steel, which is 2.2 times, or 54% less than in January-April 2022. Is in 25th place at the end of four months-2023.
As reported, at the end of 2022, the top ten steel producing countries were as follows: China (1.013 billion tons, down 2.1%), India (124.720 million tons, up 5.5%), Japan (89.235 million tons, down 7.4%), USA (80.715 million tons, down 5.9%), Russia (71.5 million tons, down 7.2%), South Korea (65, 865 million tons, down 6.5%), Germany (36.849 million tons, down 8.4%), Turkey (35.134 million tons, down 12.9%), Brazil (33.972 million tons, down 5.8%) and Iran (30.593 million tons, up 8%).
In 2022, Ukraine ranked 23rd with the production of 6.263 million tons of steel (“minus” 70.7%).
In total, 64 countries produced 1 billion 831.467 million tons of steel in 2022, which is 4.3% less than in 2021.

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“Metinvest” plans to supply steel for Ukraine’s reconstruction together with Italian companies

Mining and Metallurgical Group Metinvest intends to participate in the post-war reconstruction of Ukraine together with the Ukrainian government and Italian business, the company’s CEO Yuri Ryzhenkov said at the April 26 conference on the reconstruction of Ukraine held in Rome with the participation of Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shmygal and Italian Council of Ministers Chairman Giorgi Meloni.
According to a press release Friday, during the discussion, Denis Shmygal noted that Ukraine looks forward to Italy’s participation in joint infrastructure, logistics, manufacturing and commercial projects to restore Ukraine from the effects of the war.
“The hundreds of Italian and Ukrainian companies, businesses, associations that are here today are a signal that we have a common interest in the reconstruction projects that, in particular, the president of Ukraine described today. We invite Italian companies to invest in Ukraine and implement reconstruction projects today”, – he said.
The Prime Minister added that Ukraine counts on 1 billion euros from the Italian agency SACE to urgently finance the reconstruction of energy, housing, humanitarian demining, critical and social infrastructure, support for small and medium businesses.
In his turn Yuriy Ryzhenkov said at the specialized metallurgical panel during the conference that Metinvest as a potential steel supplier considers the issues of strategic partnership with Italian companies in Ukraine. In particular, we are talking about cooperation in transport infrastructure (roads, bridges, seaports), energy infrastructure (production and supply of energy), social infrastructure (schools, hospitals, other public institutions).
“Ukraine has lost production of rails and slabs because of the destroyed factories in Mariupol. On the one hand, this is a problem because Italy was a major consumer of Ukrainian slabs. But on the other hand, it is an opportunity for Ukraine’s recovery, as these are the most obvious areas that require investment. One of the first drafts of Ukraine recovery plan, published last year, already contains initiatives in which Italian business may take part. And this is where Metinvest is ready to cooperate with it to implement the plan for Ukraine’s recovery,” the top manager, as quoted by the press service, stressed.
Moreover, Metinvest, in partnership with Italian companies, seeks to improve the technological level of metallurgical production in Ukraine and become part of the green transformation of the European industry. In particular, the matter concerns expansion of DR-okatysh production, the basic raw material for more environmentally friendly metallurgical production with the usage of electric arc furnaces. “Metinvest is considering a partnership with DRI d’Italia, a joint project of InvItalia and CEIP Scarl, a consortium of electric arc furnace steel producers.
However participation in these projects will require additional investments in production capacities. For example, modernization of some of the enterprises and construction of new facilities will require about $6 billion according to the National Recovery Plan developed and presented in mid-2022. Promising investment projects include modernization of iron ore processing technology and construction of DR-forming lines, construction of electric arc furnace facilities and new rolling mills.
In his speech at the conference, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky emphasized that Ukraine has significant potential for the development of green metallurgy. “From iron ore to lithium and other resources that are in maximum demand by the world – all of it is Ukraine. From natural gas to titanium… We can give – and we will! – all that to global markets. In many ways we can replace companies from Russia – those who have chosen to work for war rather than for global development,” he said.
“Metinvest is a vertically integrated group of mining and metallurgical enterprises. Its enterprises are located in Ukraine – in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Dnipropetrovsk regions, as well as in European countries.
The major shareholders of the holding are SCM Group (71.24%) and Smart Holding (23.76%) that manage it together.
Metinvest Holding LLC is the management company of Metinvest group.

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“Metinvest” donates steel for buggy production for AFU

Metinvest’s network of steel service centers in Ukraine, Metinvest-SMC, has donated steel to the Pivden Operational Command as part of Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front initiative to manufacture mobile buggy vehicles, which are in high demand at the frontline.
According to the press release, a buggy is a small light vehicle with high cross-country ability with open wheels, used for off-road driving. There are no such vehicles in service in Ukraine. Activists, volunteers and representatives of some military associations manufacture and supply them.
It is noted that buggies are compact, fast, maneuverable, have high cross-country ability and are easily camouflaged. They are relatively inexpensive and are indispensable in reconnaissance missions, able to attack in small groups and make quick raids behind enemy lines. That is why the buggy is a good alternative to a conventional wheeled vehicle on the front lines.
Metinvest-SMC was recently approached by representatives of the UC Pivden: the military needed equipment for the production of buggies. At their request the company provided 3.8 tons of rolled metal – angles, sheets, and tubes – for the manufacture of 10 front minivans, free of charge.
According to the press service, everyone can also help the defenders of Ukraine: if there are any unused old Zhiguli 01-07 cars, they can be transferred to the AFU (Operational Command South in FB or e-mail
It is recalled that Metinvest group has already allocated 1.6 billion UAH for the projects of Rinat Akhmetov’s Steel Front military initiative.
“Metinvest” is a vertically integrated mining group of companies. Its main shareholders are SCM Group (71.24%) and Smart Holding (23.76%) that jointly manage the company.
Metinvest Holding LLC is the managing company of Metinvest group.

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“Metinvest” cuts steel output by 69% in 2022

Metinvest in 2022 reduced steel production by 69% year-on-year to 2.918 mln t, parent company Metinvest B.V. said in a press release.
According to it, the production of pig iron declined by 72% to 2.743 million tons, coke – by 64% to 1.653 million tons, including merchant coke – by 49% to 811 thousand tons.
At the same time, it is specified that in connection with the beginning of a large-scale military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, since 24 February 2022, Metinvest decided to suspend the production activities of a number of its enterprises in Mariupol, Avdiivka and Zaporizhia, including Azovstal, Illich Iron and Steel, Avdiivka Coke and Zaporizka Coke. Later, the group’s Zaporizhia companies resumed production. However, the company’s enterprises in Mariupol and Avdeevka suffered as a result of hostilities, while Mariupol is currently temporarily occupied.
It is also noted that Ukrainian enterprises of the group, except those located in Mariupol and Avdeevka, continue to operate at different levels of utilization, taking into account security factors, availability of electricity supply, as well as logistical and economic factors.
In 2022, production of commercial semi-finished products decreased by 70% to 1.022 mln tons, due to a significant decrease in the production of liquid pig iron. This was partially offset by the consolidation of commercial billet production volumes at Kametstal’s facilities.
In 2022, production of finished products decreased by 62% to 2.777 million tonnes. The production of flat products decreased by 4.247 million tonnes to 1.731 million tonnes due to the stoppage at the Mariupol mills, and the lack of a stable supply of slabs for Italian rolling mills in the first half of the reporting year. Production of long products decreased by 71,000 tonnes, to 1.018 million tonnes, due to stoppages at Azovstal from the end of February 2022 and lower production at Promet Steel due to irregular intragroup supplies of billets.
This, in turn, was partially offset by consolidation of production volumes at Kametstal’s facilities. At the same time, production of rails and pipes decreased by 38 and 100 thousand tons to 10 and 18 thousand tons, respectively, as the products were produced at Mariupol.
In 2022, coke output decreased by 64% to 1.653 mln tons.
“Last year, Metinvest also reduced the production of total iron ore concentrate (iron ore concentrate) by 66% year-on-year to 10.712 million tons, the output of marketable iron ore products decreased by 55% to 7.903 million tons, including the volume of marketable concentrate – by 60% to 4.718 million tons, and the volume of marketable pellets – by 45% to 3.185 million tons.
In 2022, the production of coal concentrate by the group decreased by 11% to 4.959 million tons, mainly due to the lack of qualified personnel at its coal assets and deteriorating geological conditions at United Coal Company (USA) mines.
As reported, Metinvest in 2021 increased the steel output by 15% compared to 2020 – up to 9.533 million tons, iron – also by 15%, to 9.709 million tons, but reduced the total production of coke by 5% to 4.551 million tons. In 2021, the Group increased the total production of iron ore concentrate by 3% to 31.341 million tons, the production of pellets by 18% to 5.811 million tons and the total production of coking coal concentrate by 92% to 5.542 million tons.
“Metinvest consists of 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%) that jointly manage the company.
Metinvest Holding LLC is the management company of Metinvest group.


“Interpipe” significantly reduced production of steel, railway products, pipes – 9M2012 results

In January-September 2022, the international vertically integrated steel and railway company Interpipe cut its steel output by 36.3% year-on-year, to 463 thnd mt.
According to the presentation of the company results for the first nine months of last year, the output of pipes decreased by 30.2% to 309 thousand tons, railway products – by 49.6%, to 64 thousand tons.
In Q3-2022, steel output stood at 177 thnd mt (a 43.9% increase on Q2-2022), pipe output – at 105 thnd mt (a 4.5% decrease), railroad output – at 24 thnd mt (a 33.3% increase).
As previously reported, in 2021, Interpipe increased steel output by 28.1% compared to 2020 – up to 971 thousand tons, pipe output increased by 32.5% – to 614.8 thousand tons, while production of railway products decreased by 9.7% – to 172.1 thousand tons.
“Interpipe is a Ukrainian industrial company, which produces seamless pipes and railway wheels. The company supplies its products to over 80 countries all over the world through a network of commercial offices located in the key markets of the CIS, the Middle East, North America and Europe. In 2021, the company sold 602 thnd mt of tubes and 174 thnd mt of railroad products. The company sells its railroad products under the KLW brand.
There are about 10 thsd. employees in Interpipe.
The company consists of five industrial assets: “Interpipe Nizhnedneprovsky Tube Rolling Plant (NTZ)”, “Interpipe Novomoskovsk Tube Plant (NMTZ)”, “Interpipe Niko Tube”, “Interpipe Vtormet” and the electric steelmaking complex “Dneprosteel” under the brand name “Interpipe Steel”.
The ultimate owner of Interpipe Limited is Ukrainian businessman Viktor Pinchuk and his family members.

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Rauta’s analysis of steel construction market in Ukraine

By the end of this year, metal prices and logistics costs have dropped significantly, which should help the demand
Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine has had a significant impact on the entire economy and the construction industry in particular. However, after a few months of war, some of the customers have already returned to the construction of commercial objects that were frozen at the beginning of the full-scale war or damaged as a result of the hostilities.

Current situation
Rauta is a leading supplier of modern solutions for quickly erected buildings – sandwich panels, ventilated metal facades, steel frames, load-bearing profiles, etc. The company offers services in design, installation of supporting and enclosing structures, as well as general contracting on objects of any complexity. The main focus of the company’s business is the import of Ruukki products for commercial construction projects. We use production facilities located in Poland, Estonia and Ukraine.
After the beginning of the active war phase due to a significant decrease in demand for our products the company’s business was significantly reoriented. We began to be approached by clients with requests to rebuild buildings destroyed in the fighting. Having a deep understanding of the technologies and principles of reconstruction, we began to actively engage in the restoration of buildings and made it a separate line of business. Whereas before February 24 the company was restoring only one building in Kiev, by the end of 2022 we had implemented 7 projects in three cities of Ukraine, and the start of reconstruction of several more is planned for 2023.

Growth against the backdrop of a falling market
In 2021 there was a situation on the market when the demand for Ruukki products greatly exceeded the capacity of production and the factories were not able to fulfill all orders. Starting from 24 February, the number of orders for new construction projects decreased sharply, and the main deliveries were for objects that began construction last year. Fortunately, almost all of our sandwich panel customers continued to build facilities. Among them are low-temperature warehouse and business center in Kiev, dairy farm and dairy plant in Ternopil region. Therefore, in 2022 Rauta has a 40% year-on-year decrease in sales, which is a relatively good indicator against the background of a more than 70% fall in the sandwich panel market. At the same time, thanks to the growth of the construction and general contracting services area, the company’s total revenue increased by 7% compared to 2021.

Price waves
Ruukki products are made only from European rolled steel, the price of which rose to a peak in August 2021 and halved in early 2022. At the same time in the cost of panels, galvanized steel with polymer coating accounts for about 25%.
At the same time, given the substantial increase in the cost of transportation services and the rise in the euro, the price of imported sandwich panels for the year increased by 50% in hryvnia equivalent. Nevertheless now there is a tendency in the market to considerable decrease of transport cost as well as inertial fall of world steel prices that in the nearest perspective can lead to reduction of sandwich-panels prices by 15-20%.
The main method of delivery in the market of metal construction is road transport. In 2021 the cost of delivery by truck from Poland to Kiev was about 65 thousand UAH. In the spring of 2022 delivery from Poland due to rising fuel prices and limited supply of transport has doubled in price, and in December 2022 was back to the prewar level.
In 2021 the peak cost of load-bearing steel reached almost 70 thousand UAH per ton, mainly due to the high cost of rolled steel. At the end of 2022 due to the decline in metal prices by almost half the cost of steel decreased by about 23% – to 54 thousand UAH per ton.

Recovery Opportunities.
In the spring of 2022, when the company had less workload on the main projects, we have developed a technology for the construction of frameless houses made of sandwich panels, which can be used for ultra-fast construction of houses and cottage towns. To demonstrate the benefits of this technology, we plan to install two demonstration frameless houses near Kiev. For this purpose we have already made house sets in Poland for 20 and 40 square meters houses and we are going to install them in spring. Now we can see the interest in this technology on the part of institutional funds and private investors in the segment of cottage building, which will grow rapidly after Ukraine’s victory.
Another innovation of ours is the development of technology for construction of multistoried buildings using sandwich panels as outer walls, which allows a developer to get up to 5% more space.
In general it can be noted that the technology of rapid construction with steel solutions has a great perspective in the reconstruction of commercial real estate – where the investor understands: the sooner the business is built, the sooner it will begin to bring income.

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