Metinvest’s steel enterprises are operating at 65-75% of their capacity as of November, says company financial director Yulia Dankova.
“Our mining and processing plants are now operating at 35-40% of their capacity,” she tells Ukraine-based dsnews.ua. “In general, in the first half of 2023, the company produced more than 1 million tonnes of steel, 4.75mt of iron ore concentrate and more than 3mt of coal concentrate. As a result of the war, Metinvest lost control over two large plants in Mariupol and suspended production in Avdievka.”
Before the war, the Mariupol plants supplied companies abroad with semi-finished products, and coal concentrate went from the US to Ukraine, she adds. “Currently, Metinvest’s assets in Italy, the UK and the US operate as independent enterprises. The company’s coal mines in the US have shifted product sales to domestic and export markets, and rolling mills are buying semi-finished products on the open market,” she explains.
Since the Black Sea ports, through which raw materials and metal products were traditionally exported to Asia and Europe, are blocked by Russia, the company had to build new logistics chains, Kallanish notes.
“We now supply raw materials to European countries by rail, and ship by sea from eight European ports in Poland, Croatia and Romania. The company has completely reoriented all metal exports to the European market,” Dankova observes. “However, compared to steel products, the situation with the export of iron ore is much worse. Due to the impossibility of exporting raw materials by sea, the company is forced to significantly reduce utilisation of the Kryvyi Rih mining and processing plants.”
Currently, raw materials are exported through western border crossings to consumers in Europe and onwards to European ports, but overall export volumes are significantly lower than pre-war due to high costs for transportation, she notes.
“After the first ships with grain and metal left Ukrainian ports, there was cautious optimism that Ukraine would be able to restore full-fledged exports, but this is not a stable route yet and we cannot count on it for the moment,” Dankova concludes.
Earlier, Metinvest said it plans to import electricity in the winter, because blackouts are unavoidable in Ukraine amid Russian air strikes and shelling (see Kallanish passim).
Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria