In 2019, Ukrainian steel producers increased exports of long products to non-traditional markets: Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates,

according to the annual report by GMK Center analysts on the state of the steel industry, Ukrainian Iron & Steel in Figures 2020.

“Any changes in the structure of exports of rolled products and pipes over the past five years occurred exclusively due to protective measures imposed on Ukraine. For this very reason, Ukrainian companies increased their exports of long products to non-traditional markets,” Andrii Tarasenko, GMK Center Chief Analyst, explains.

At the same time, the MENA region with a 35% share, remains Ukraine’s key market for exports of long products.

Russia (16.5%) and Turkey (10%) are the largest markets for exports of Ukraine-made flat products.

Steel consumption in Ukraine stagnated in 2018–2019. Last year, the market volume remained at the level of the previous year, 4.813 million tons.

Construction holds a dominant share of 73% in steel consumption in Ukraine. It is much higher than the world’s average of 50%.

“This could be explained by insufficient development of Ukraine’s mechanical engineering,” Andrii Tarasenko explains.

In 2019, Ukraine’s steel production dropped by 1.2% in general against a 23% decrease in production of steel in electric-arc furnaces (EAF). The share of semi-finished products in production of finished products was 39% in 2019.

Despite a tough year for the industry, a share of the mining & metals sector of Ukraine in the structure of the country’s gross domestic product remained at the level of 12%.

For more details on Ukraine’s role in the global value chain see the full version of Ukrainian Iron & Steel in Figures 2020 here.

The steel market of Georgia showed steady growth in 2015–2018. Last year was however an exception to this trend. In 2019, steel consumption in the country declined by 7.7% to 650 thousand tons against 2018. Georgia accounts for just 1% of the total steel consumption within the post-Soviet space, according to CIS Steel Market Outlook 2015–2019 prepared by GMK Center analysts.

It is hard to explain the last year’s fall in steel consumption, since the construction development indicators in Georgia showed a good growth. In 2019, the total area of commissioned sites grew by 22% against the previous year.

Construction is the largest steel consumer in Georgia. The construction sector accounts for around 90% of the total metal consumption.

The positive construction trends are due to the desire of Georgia to develop the tourism industry and related infrastructure. In 2018, infrastructure investment in Georgia totaled $640 million and $755 million was planned for 2019.

2.5 thousand infrastructure projects were to be implemented in 2017–2019. Among them are the construction of a new terminal in Kutaisi airport and expansion of the terminal in Batumi. The North-South road will be built as part of the “One Belt, One Way” China-funded project ($415 million).

“Private funds are being raised for the development of resort towns. One of the tasks is to create infrastructure for winter recreation and thus expand the holiday season to the whole year,” says Andrii Tarasenko, GMK Center Chief Analyst.

Steel consumption per capita in Georgia is one of the highest in the region. In 2019, it amounted to 175 kg. In terms of this indicator, the country ranks third together with Kazakhstan among the post-Soviet countries and is inferior only to the leaders — Russia (308 kg) and Belarus (217 kg).

In general, the CIS market showed good dynamics in 2015–2019. A 7.9% increase in steel consumption in Russia in 2019 prompted a 6% increase to 60.8 million tons in the CIS market. However, according to the World Steel Association, steel consumption in the CIS will fall by 10.3% in 2020.

In 2019, steel consumption in Uzbekistan increased by 18.1% to 2.15 million tons against the previous year. The country accounts for 4% of the total steel consumption among the CIS countries, according to CIS Steel Market Outlook 2015–2019 prepared by GMK Center analysts.

The automotive sector is a key driver of demand for steel in Uzbekistan. The automotive production growth slowed a bit in 2019 amid a global downturn in car sales.

In 2019, Uzbekistan adopted the Concept for the Development of the Automotive Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan. This concept provides for a 40% increase in production of vehicles by 2025. Yet, the crisis may hit Uzbekistan’s automotive industry in 2020.

Growing steel consumption in Uzbekistan is due to imports of flat products. Specifically, an almost fourfold increase to 160 thousand tons was reported in HRC consumption over the past 3 years, CRC showed the same trend of up to 220 thousand tons, while coated coil demonstrated a 1.5 fold increase to 550 thousand tons.

“There are plans to commission Tashkent Metallurgical Plant in 2020. It will produce hot-deep galvanized coil and coated coil. Investment in construction amounted to €327 million. The plant’s capacity (500 thousand tons annually) will make it possible to meet the country’s need for coated coil,” says Andrii Tarasenko, GMK Center Chief Analyst.

The construction output in 2015–2019 increased by 10% annually. Yet, consumption of long products remains approximately at the same level of 800 thousand tons.

In 2019, steel consumption per capita in Uzbekistan was 65 kg per annum. In terms of this indicator, the country ranks ninth among the post-Soviet countries and is markedly inferior to leaders — Russia (308 kg) and Belarus (217 kg).

In general, the CIS market showed good dynamics in 2015–2019. A 7.9% increase in steel consumption in Russia in 2019 prompted a 6% increase to 60.8 million tons in the CIS market. However, according to the World Steel Association, steel consumption in the CIS will fall by 10.3% in 2020.