EU’s Russia-origin semis, iron imports continue to fall

The EU reduced imports of steel products and ferrous raw materials from Russia in January-February, show Eurostat data.

Volumes amounted to 577,000 tonnes, down by 34.6% on-year, Kallanish notes. Revenue generated by these shipments decreased 33% to $291 million.

The main share of imports was taken by semi-finished products – 82.2% of total supply. Semis shipments decreased in January-February by 11% on-year to 474,600t. Belgium took 141,600t, down by 31% on-year.

Imports of pig iron from Russia to the EU in January-February amounted to 78,320t, down 69% on-year. Italy imported 37,660t, down by 82.2% on-year.

Supplies of iron ore from Russia to the EU amounted to only 9,360t, which is 87.6% less on-year. The entire volume was shipped to Slovakia. The Netherlands imported 6,380t of ferroalloys, up 16.3% on-year. Lithuania’s scrap intake amounted to 3,030t, down 57.2% on-year.

In 2023, Russia’s steel and raw materials exports to the EU amounted to 4.8 million tonnes, down by 39.5% on-year, for €2.4 billion.

Last year, European steelmakers association Eurofer voiced concern over the European Commission’s decision to continue to allow Russian slab to enter the EU until 2028 (see Kallanish passim).

As part of the EU’s 12th Russia sanctions package, EU importers will be able to import some 3 million tonnes/year of slab from Russia until October 2026. The quota will then be reduced further, to 2.6mt and then 2mt respectively during the following 12-month periods through October 2028.

Meanwhile, Russian billet imports into the EU will be prohibited from April 2024.

EU pig iron imports from Russia have meanwhile been banned from 2026 and are subject to quotas in 2024 and 2025.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria