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Limestone industry

Railway deliveries of lime during this period fell by 21% y/y

In the first quarter of 2024, Ukraine’s lime industry increased rail deliveries of limestone by 16% or 79.1 thousand tons compared to the same period in 2023 – up to 572 thousand tons. This is evidenced by a study by the Ukrainian Association of Lime Industry (UALI).

In March, 233 thousand tons of limestone were delivered by rail, which is 5% less than in March 2023 and 30% more than in February 2024.

The top three shipper regions are Khmelnytskyi, Ternopil, and Vinnytsia regions (78% in total). The main consumers of limestone by rail, as well as in the market as a whole, are steelmaking companies. The cement and sugar industries also hold a significant share.

In January-March 2024, the steel industry increased its consumption of limestone by rail by 47% (+173 thousand tons) compared to the same period in 2023.

Rail deliveries of lime in the first quarter of 2024 amounted to 26.8 thousand tons, down 21% y/y. In March, the figure increased by 7% y/y and 16% m/m – to 10.4 thousand tons. The steel industry accounts for the bulk of consumption. The energy sector, chemical industry, and construction industry also have a small share.

In January-March, Zaporizhstal reduced its consumption of lime by rail by 3% y/y, ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih increased its consumption by 288% y/y, and Eastern Mining reduced its consumption by 100% y/y. In March 2024, lime supplies to Zaporizhstal fell by 10% y/y, while those to ArcelorMittal increased by 85% y/y.

In 2023, Ukraine’s lime industry reduced rail deliveries of limestone by 9% compared to 2022, to 3.2 million tons. Rail deliveries of lime increased by 3% y/y to 127.8 thousand tons.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in 2022, the Ukrainian lime market fell by 58% compared to 2021. The key reason for the decline is Russia’s aggression and a full-scale war. Last year, lime production decreased by 61% y/y. Consumption of the product also dropped significantly, in particular, rail deliveries by 56% y/y and imports by 70% y/y.