The main share of imports is semi-finished products – 78.5% of the total volume of deliveries

In January 2024, the European Union reduced imports of iron and steel products from Russia by 38.9% compared to January 2023, to 239.89 thousand tons. Compared to the previous month, the figure decreased by 42.1%. This is evidenced by Eurostat data.

The cost of imports of Russian iron and steel products in January decreased by 43.6% compared to January 2023 and by 38.4% m/m – to €114.03 million.

Semi-finished products accounted for the bulk of imports – 78.5% of total imports. During the month, the EU imported 188.4 thousand tons of the respective products from Russia, which is 27.2% less y/y and 34.%% m/m. Belgium accounted for the bulk of imports of semi-finished products – 68.74 thousand tons (-36.5% y/y).

Iron ore supplies from Russia to the EU amounted to 9.36 kt, down 71.7% y/y and 19.7% m/m. The entire volume of raw materials was shipped to Slovakia (-71.7% y/y). Imports of ferroalloys amounted to 4.22 thousand tons (-29.6% y/y, +74% m/m), pig iron – 36.34 thousand tons (-61.6% y/y, -67.9% m/m), and scrap – 1.6 thousand tons (+308.2% y/y, -50.6% m/m).

The main consumers of these Russian iron and steel products in January were:

  • pig iron – Latvia – 18.1 thousand tons (not imported in January 2023);
  • ferroalloys – the Netherlands – 3.33 thousand tons (+68.3% y/y);
  • scrap – Lithuania – 1.42 thousand tons (not imported in January 2023).

Despite the sanctions imposed on Russia, the Russian iron and steel sector continues to make significant profits from exporting products to the European Union. Although the figures are down significantly compared to 2022, with exports amounting to 7.92 million tons worth €3.87 billion last year, supplies are still high.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in the 12th package, the EU extended quotas on Russian slabs for another four years. The total quota for imports of this product from October 2024 to September 2028 is set at 8.5 million tons, with a more detailed breakdown by period. The previous sanctions on slab imports were imposed in October last year as part of the 8th sanctions package. At that time, it was decided that it could last until the end of September 2024 within the established quotas, and that imports would cease on October 1, 2024. However, the 12th package of sanctions actually eased the previously imposed restrictions.

EU and Ukrainian steelmakers criticize the easing of sanctions against the aggressor country’s steel industry.