Ukraine increases scrap purchases, exports surge

Ukrainian mills increased procurement of ferrous scrap in February compared to January, according to the Ukrainian association of secondary metals, UAVtormet.

The volume purchased increased by 51.6% on-month to 60,500 tonnes, but fell 51.6% on-year, Kallanish notes. Supply of scrap to Ukrainian enterprises was also up 43.3% on-month to 70,800t, but down 73% on-year.

In January-February, procurement of scrap decreased by 70.8% on-year to 152,200t.

At the same time, ferrous scrap stocks are critically low and continue to shrink, UAVtormet observes. As of 1 March, they were at the level of 15,000-20,000t compared to 20,000-25,000t at the beginning of February.

Exports of scrap in February amounted to 16,500t, up 98.8% compared to the previous month and more by 79% on-year. January-February scrap exports increased by 3.5 times to 24,800t compared to the same period last year. Imports of the feedstock have amounted to 400t in March so far, while in January and February no scrap was imported.

In December 2021, Ukraine’s parliament increased the duty on the export of ferrous scrap to €180/tonne.

“During the first two months of 2023, the volume of scrap procurement in Ukraine continued to decline,” UAVtormet says. “This trend is due to the crisis in the scrap industry and the existing pricing in the market. It is the growth in the export of scrap metal that allows us to maintain business activity in the current conditions.”

According to its forecasts, scrap procurement in Ukraine in 2023 will amount to 850,000-880,000t. Domestic supplies of raw materials to steel plants will be at the level of 720,000-750,000t.

In February, UAVtormet said that Ukrainian steel mills will not have enough ferrous scrap to meet demand this year, because in 2023 they may need up to 1.7 million tonnes (see Kallanish passim).

Ukrainian mills significantly reduced procurement of ferrous scrap in 2022 to 996,700t, down by 76% on-year.

In total, UAVtormet predicts about 900,000-950,000t of scrap will be generated during the Russian-Ukrainian war, including from utilising scrapped military equipment.

Svetoslav Abrossimov Bulgaria