Business news from Ukraine


Ukraine may lift the ban on the import of unprocessed timber exclusively for the EU countries after it provides transparency in the domestic market, as it is suggested by bill No. 4197-1, Deputy Minister of Economy and Trade Representative of Ukraine Taras Kachka has said. “We informed them with a note that we would pass the law in six months. The bill we are putting on is No. 4197-1. This is the bill on the timber market. The logic is very simple: first, we ensure transparency in the domestic market so that there are no grounds for manipulation. As part of this bill, we will also consider lifting the moratorium exclusively for the EU – we have no reason to lift it for the rest,” Kachka told Interfax-Ukraine on the sidelines of the Ukraine 30 forum.
He stressed that trade with the EU will be possible only with transparent mechanisms.
“Now in the EU there are two initiatives on forest control – corporate due diligence and a ban on the import of unprocessed raw materials is even possible. So they have the same process going on, we will actively synchronize,” Kachka said.
As reported, the Verkhovna Rada on April 9, 2015 adopted a law, which banned the export of unprocessed timber and sawn timber (round timber) for 10 years.
In 2018, the parliament limited domestic consumption of unprocessed timber to 25 billion cubic meters per year for the duration of the export of round timber outside the customs territory of the country.
In January 2020, Ukraine and the EU created an arbitration group to consider a dispute over Ukraine’s ban on the export of raw timber. At the end of 2020, it issued a decision recognizing its right to restrict timber exports under certain circumstances, while at the same time recognizing the need to adjust the 2015 moratorium in cooperation with the EU.

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Bolt, a ride-hailing service, has raised EUR 20 million of investment from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, to increase access to mobility services in Eastern Europe (including Ukraine) and Africa (Nigeria and South Africa), the press service of the company reported on Thursday.
“Technology can and should unlock new pathways for sustainable development… Our investment in Bolt aims to help tap in to technology to disrupt the transport sector in a way that is good for the environment… and provides safer and more affordable transportation access in emerging markets,” IFC Chief Operating Officer Stephanie von Friedeburg said in a statement.
“We are looking forward to partnering with IFC to further support entrepreneurship… and increase access to affordable mobility services in Africa and Eastern Europe. Together with the investment from the European Investment Bank last year, we are proud to have sizeable and strategically important institutions backing us and recognising the strategic value Bolt is providing to emerging economies,” Bolt CEO Markus Villig said.
In Ukraine, Bolt ride-hailing service was launched in summer 2018.

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Metinvest B.V. (the Netherlands), the parent company of the international vertically integrated mining and metallurgical group Metinvest, in 2020 reduced sales of products in Europe by 21% compared to the previous year, to $ 2.851 billion.
According to the audited consolidated financial results for 2020, sales in Europe fell mainly due lower sales prices for steel products. This was also affected by a decrease in sales of semi-finished products by 31% and iron ore products by 48%. As a result, the region’s share in total revenue decreased by 7 percentage points (p.p.) compared to the previous year, to 27%.
In 2020, revenue in Ukraine decreased by 7%, to $ 2.939 billion, mainly due to a decrease in the average price for metal products and coke, as well as a 26% reduction in pellet sales. The decrease in revenues was partially offset by an increase in the supply of long products by 23%, coke by 14% and iron ore concentrate by 43%. In general, the share of Ukraine in the consolidated revenue decreased by 1 p.p. compared to 2019, to 28%.
Revenue in the Middle East and North Africa region rose 9%, to $ 1.8 billion, mainly driven by an increase in slab (2.5 times) and flat products (12%) shipments. As a result, the region’s share in the consolidated revenue increased by 2 p.p., to 17%.
Revenue in Southeast Asia rose 56%, to $ 1.467 billion thanks to the resumption of sales by Metinvest to China amid strong demand in the country. During the reporting period, the group sold 862,000 tonnes of semi-finished products and finished metal products in the country. In addition, supplies of iron ore products to China increased 1.7 times. As a result, the market share of the region in total revenue increased by 5 p.p., to 14%.
Revenue in the CIS decreased by 23%, to $ 635 million due to a decrease in sales volumes and sales prices for flat products. The region’s share in the consolidated revenue decreased by 2 p.p., to 6%.

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Corum Group (DTEK) plans to complete the supply of 400 cast components for powered supports to the largest mining company in Europe Polska Grupa Górnicza SA (PGG) by the end of March this year, Corum wrote on Facebook.
According to the statement, the first batch under the contract, the cost of which was not disclosed, has already been supplied to the customer. Cast components are produced by Corum Svitlo Shakhtaria plant (Kharkiv).
“These components will cover the Polish partner’s need for missing components for the production of powered roof support sections,” the statement said.
Corum recalls that it has been cooperating with PGG since 2018, and three mines of this company (Sośnica, Piast-Ziemowit and Mysłowice-Wesoła) use more than 400 Corum support components.
Corum Group is part of the energy company DTEK Energy and is the largest manufacturer of mining equipment in Ukraine.
The key clients of the company are 14 largest mining holdings, whose assets include 150 mines and open pits.

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The European Commission awaits a final decision on the dispute between Ukraine and the EU on a temporary ban on export of round timber until the end of this year, as follows from the EU’s annual Association Implementation Report.
“Recent draft legal proposals which would introduce local content requirements in public procurement procedures are a cause of concern as they breach the equal treatment and non-discrimination principles of public procurement under the AA, the WTO and the WTO Agreement on Government Procurement,” the report says.
“Regarding trade defense activities, the recent proliferation of safeguard investigations launched by Ukraine have not always been carried out in strict adherence with criteria and standards,” according to the document.
“Following many years of uninterrupted growth favored by the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) established by the AA, bilateral trade in the first eight months of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 decreased by around 11% as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The EU remains by far Ukraine’s biggest trading partner. Regarding Ukraine’s wood export ban, a longstanding bilateral trade-irritant, a bilateral arbitration panel under the AA has been established and a final ruling of the panel is expected still in 2020,” the EC said.
“With regard to the reform of the Ukrainian forest-based sector, including wood harvesting and trade and, in particular, wood legality, Ukraine authorities from the Ministry of Environment Protection and Natural Resources committed during a TSD (Trade and Sustainable Development) sub-committee meeting in October 2020, to the need for a separation of functions between the management of resources and control functions and thus a reorganization and distribution of responsibilities between control and inspection on the one hand, and wood harvesting and trade on the other,” the report states.



Crude oil transit through Ukraine by pipelines to European countries and Belarus in January-September 2020 increased 5.5% (by 517,200 tonnes) compared to the same period in 2019, to 9.885 million tonnes, according to the data of JSC Ukrtransnafta.
The volume of oil transportation to refineries of Ukraine during this period amounted to 1.911 million tonnes, which is 8.7% (153,600 tonnes) more than in January-September 2019. Including oil transportation along the Odesa-Kremenchuk pipeline amounted to 839,000 tonnes (a rise of 32.2%).
Thus, in the first nine months of this year, the share of transit volume of the total oil transportation (11.796 million tonnes) amounted to 83.8%, the share of pumping to the country’s refineries – 16.2%.
In September 2020, oil transit through Ukraine by pipeline transport decreased 6.7% (by 90,200 tonnes) compared to the same month last year, to 1.255 million tonnes.
Pumping to Ukrainian refineries last month decreased 13.6% (by 32,100 tonnes),to 204,000 tonnes, including transportation of Ukrainian oil amounted to 112,100 tonnes, Azerbaijani oil – 76,800 tonnes, WTI oil – 15,100 tonnes.

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