Ukrainian metallurgical enterprises in January-August this year increased production of general rolled products, according to recent data, by 5.9% compared to the same period last year, to 12.999 million tonnes.
According to the Ukrmetalurgprom association on Thursday, over the eight months steel production increased by 6.7%, to 14.596 million tonnes, and cast iron – by 7%, to 14.503 million tonnes.
In August, 1.673 million tonnes of rolled products, 1.864 million tonnes of steel, and 1.852 million tonnes of cast iron were produced, while in the previous month – 1.723 million tonnes of rolled products, 1.876 million tonnes of steel, and 1.857 million tonnes of cast iron.
The Cabinet of Ministers has supported the submission to the Verkhovna Rada of a draft law on state regulation of genetic engineering activities and control over the circulation of products containing genetically modified organisms (GMO), this initiative is conducting a comprehensive review of the existing legislation in the field of handling GMO products, and also allows implementing EU regulations in force in the Ukrainian legislation.
The government made the corresponding decision without discussion at a meeting on August 4.
“Imperfect legal regulation of GMO handling makes it impossible to effectively control the circulation of GMO products and creates conditions for the illegal use of unregistered GMO products. Thus, state regulation in the field of GMO handling should be revised, modernized and brought in line with EU legislation,” an explanatory note to the document reads.
This bill provides for the delineation of powers of the authorities to eliminate duplication of functions in the field of GMO circulation, improvement of the system for assessing the risks of the impact of GMOs on human health and the environment, the introduction of European mechanisms for state registration and labeling of products with GMOs, strengthening state control in the sphere of handling GMOs.
The bill introduces a new type of permits – “permits for the import of unregistered GMOs for carrying out genetic engineering activities in a closed system” with a gradation of the levels of risks they create from 1 to 4.
It is assumed that this bill will regulate the creation, labeling and use of GMOs and genetically modified products, control of compliance with legislation in this industry. In addition, the document prohibits the circulation of food products containing GMOs (or produced with their use) prior to the state registration of the corresponding source of origin of GMOs.
PJSC ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih (Dnipropetrovsk region) in January-June 2021 reduced the output of general rolled products, according to operational data, by 2.1% year-over-year, to 2.3 million tonnes.
A representative of the company told Interfax-Ukraine that steel production during this period increased by 1.4%, to 2.45 million tonnes, cast iron by 10.4%, to 2,790 tonnes. At the same time, sinter production increased by 7.6%, to 4.95 million tonnes.
In June, about 390,000 tonnes of rolled products, some 420,000 tonnes of steel, some 470,000 tonnes of cast iron, some 880,000 tonnes of sinter were produced.
The production of cable and wire products in Ukraine in the first quarter of 2021 decreased by 8.2% (by weight of metal) compared to the same period in 2020, the Ukrelektrokabel association reported on its website on Monday.
“Due to quarantine restrictions, a rapid decrease in demand, an uncontrolled rise in prices for raw materials and other unfavorable factors, in the first quarter of 2021 the enterprises of the association and the cable industry of Ukraine showed a decline,” the association said.
According to the analysis of the activities of the member enterprises, the processing of copper decreased by 12.1%, PVC (polyvinyl chloride) compounds by 13.1%, polyethylene by 8.5%, and insulating varnishes by 25.2%.
A significant decrease in production was demonstrated, in particular, by self-supporting insulated and protected wires by 30.1%; power cables with voltage up to 1 kV by 23.5%; electrical wires for power units by 27.7%, and lighting cords and wires by 18.1%.
The production of wires for industrial blasting operations fell even more significantly by 66.2% and radio frequency cables by 55%.
In addition, Ukrelektrokabel informs, in the first quarter, TF Cable Ukraine LLC (Chernihiv), a manufacturer of cable and wire products for energy distribution networks, has completely ceased production and 25% of the personnel were laid off.
According to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities and Individual Entrepreneurs, TF Cable Ukraine LLC with a charter capital of UAH 125.6 million was registered in 2008, and 100% of its shares are owned by the Polish company Tele-Fonika Kable.
According to Ukrelektrokabel, the negative events also included the forced reduction of 60% of the personnel at Cable Factory LLC (Kamianets-Podilsky), which produces installation cables and wires, as well as 15% of the personnel at Odesa-based Twomen Cable Factory (production of telecommunication copper and fiber-optic cables).
According to the data on the association’s website, it unites 18 manufacturers of cable and wire products, including large ones: Odeskabel, Pivdencable (Yuzhcable) plants (Kharkiv) and others.
Philip Morris Ukraine this year predicts a decline in the legal market of heated tobacco products by 3.1 times compared to last year, to 1.5 billion pieces, due to an increase in the excise tax on these products from January 2021 by 320%, Financial Director of Philip Morris Ukraine Maksym Barabash said at a press conference in Interfax-Ukraine.
“A one-time increase in excise taxes by 320% from January 1 requires a price increase of approximately UAH 29 (for a pack of heated tobacco products), not including the price increase due to inflation and the devaluation of the hryvnia. If we transfer this price increase to consumers, the price will increase to 80-90,” he explained.
CEO of the company Kostas Salvaras said that Philip Morris Ukraine supports amendments to law No. 4278, proposing an increase in the excise tax on heated tobacco products by 200% with its further growth by 30% in 2022-2025 instead of a one-time increase by 320%. These changes in the form of amendment No. 55 were adopted in February by the parliamentary committee on finance, taxation and customs policy.
According to the calculations of Philip Morris Ukraine, a smoother increase in the excise tax will help protect the legal market, the capacity of which, if this amendment is adopted, will grow this year by 6.3% compared to 2020, to 5 billion units.
The company also expects that in the event of a gradual increase in tax, the growth of revenues to the state budget in 2021 will not be lower than UAH 4.8 billion planned by the Ministry of Finance, and UAH 6.5-7.5 billion in 2022.
Barabash clarified that a one-time increase in excise tax by 320% will lead to a 1.5-fold increase in prices for the products, and will make illegal import of heated tobacco products four times more profitable than smuggling regular cigarettes. The company’s financial director estimated the profit from the illegal import of one heated tobacco product box at $ 500-800.
In addition, according to him, the equalization of the excise tax rate for heated tobacco products and ordinary cigarettes to 320% will entail a return of users of devices for heating tobacco to cheaper and more harmful nicotine-containing products – cigarettes. He noted that this decision contradicts European practice, since on average in the EU countries the excise tax on heated tobacco products is 72% lower than the excise tax on cigarettes, while in Ukraine this figure is 28%.
Barabash clarified that a sharp increase in the excise tax on this product would jeopardize UAH 4.2 billion already invested in the development of the Ukrainian infrastructure of the IQOS brand, which employs more than 2,000 people. It will also make it impossible to localize the production of heated tobacco products in Ukraine, which could reduce the price of this product.
As reported, Philip Morris International is one of the world’s largest tobacco manufacturers. It produces cigarettes in more than 50 factories and sells them in 180 countries.
The company has been operating in Ukraine for over 20 years. In Ukraine, Philip Morris owns a factory in Kharkiv region, the company employs over 1,300 people.
In 2020, the company reduced the shipment of cigarettes in Ukraine by 4.3% compared to 2019 due to a general market decline, which was partially offset by an increase in the market share of heated tobacco products.
Nestle Corporation starts selling a line of Garden Gourmet plant-based products in Ukraine, resembling meat in taste, appearance and texture.
The company’s press service reported on Thursday that the Garden Gourmet product line is represented in Ukraine by Sensational Burger, Sensational Sausage, Vegan Meatballs and Vegetarian Nuggets.
The press service of Nestle told Interfax-Ukraine that the new products will be delivered to a number of restaurants in Kyiv and Lviv, and the Garden Gourmet line will arrive in the retail network at the end of 2021. At the same time, the selling prices of new products are not disclosed.
The company said that Garden Gourmet products consist of natural plant ingredients, and the dye in plant products is beet juice and fruit and vegetable concentrate. The product also contains wheat, soy, oil and water. According to Nestle, the shell of Sensational Sausage uses natural algae.
According to the company, the production of vegetable burgers requires 80% less energy compared to a similar meat product. Also, the production of Garden Gourmet products reduces the carbon footprint and land use compared to the meat product by 80% and 75%, respectively.
“The choice in favor of plant products helps to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases in food production. Thanks to the optimal price, this product is affordable for everyone, and we hope that Ukrainians will discover the world of plant foods thanks to Garden Gourmet,” Nestle Professional Business Executive Officer in Ukraine and Moldova Elena Shevelyova said.
According to the company, Garden Gourmet is a popular plant food brand in Europe, with production facilities in the Czech Republic.