EU’s Ukraine-origin semis imports increase in January-February

Ukraine has increased semi-finished products shipments to the EU amid the ongoing Russian invasion, Kallanish notes.

In January-February, the EU ramped up imports of semis from Ukraine by 21.6% on-year to 180,850 tonnes, according to Eurostat data.

The largest importers among the EU countries were Poland with 53,650t, less by 34.6%; Bulgaria with 40,050t, up 91%; Italy with 18,940t, up 89.5%; and Greece with 15,540t, up 155% on-year.

In February alone, the EU also increased imports of semis by 9% on-month and 6% on-year to 100,000t. The largest importers were Poland with 28,000t, up 9% on-month, Bulgaria with 38,000t, 25% more, and Italy with 13,200t, up 131%.

In 2023, the EU reduced imports of semi-finished products from Ukraine by 2.8% on-year 1.03 million tonnes. In monetary terms, intake decreased by 23% to $532 million.

Earlier, 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).

According to the latest decision, EU importers will be able to import some 3m t/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, as previously planned.

The EU reduced imports of semis from Russia in January-February to 474,600t, down by 11% on-year (see Kallanish passim).

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

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria