Ukraine’s Jan-Aug steel production down 6.6% on year

Ukrainian steel production fell 6.6% on the year to 13.68 million mt in January-August due to weak demand and falling prices on world markets, Ukrmetallurgprom, the country’s steel making industry association, reported Sept. 16.

Ukraine’s production of rolled steel fell by 2% on the year to 12.27 million mt in January-August, pig iron output fell 1.2% to 13.55 million mt and output of steel pipes and tubes dropped by 26.9% to 540,000 mt, Ukrmetallurgprom said.

“The results of the steel sector performance for eight months of 2020 indicate that the industry remains in a difficult situation caused by the crisis on the world steel market, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic,” Ukrmetallurgprom said in a statement. “The main reasons for the decline in production, along with global quarantine, are lower prices and reduced demand for steel products.”

In January-August Ukraine’s coke output decreased by 6% on the year to 6.46 million mt.

Ukraine increased production of sintered iron ore by 0.8% on the year to 21.28 million mt in January-August. Ukraine is one of the world’s largest producers of iron ore.

In January-August, Ukraine’s metallurgy sector consumed 1.24 Bcm of natural gas, down 2% on the year, while power consumption decreased by 5% on the year to 7.35 TWh, the association said.

As of Sept. 11, 18 of the 21 blast furnaces in Ukraine were in operation, the association said. Six out of eight open-hearth furnaces, 10 out of 16 converters, five out of 15 electric arc furnaces and 16 continuous billet casting machines out of 17 were also in use.

In August alone Ukraine produced 1.83 million mt of steel, down 5.7% from August 2019, Ukrmetallurgprom said.

Over the same period, production of rolled steel increased to 1.63 million mt from 1.54 million mt, but output of pig iron fell to 1.81 million mt from 1.83 million mt.

In 2019, Ukraine’s steel output fell 1.4% on the year to 20.8 million mt, according to Ukrmetallurgprom.

— Alexander Bor