Export increased by 51.8% compared to the previous month

In April 2024, Ukrainian steelmaking companies increased exports of semi-finished products by 51.8% compared to the previous month, to 132.1 thousand tons. The figure was up 29.9% compared to April 2023. Thus, exports resumed growth after a two-month decline. This is evidenced by the data of the State Customs Service.

Revenues of domestic enterprises from the export of semi-finished products increased by 45.7% last month compared to March, to $67.14 million. The figure increased by 19.9% compared to the same month in 2023.

In January-April 2024, exports of semi-finished products from Ukraine increased by 96.9% compared to the same period in 2023, to 583.23 thousand tons. Export revenue increased by 82.2% y/y – to $288.32 million.

In January-April, Bulgaria was the largest consumer of Ukrainian semi-finished products, accounting for 37.5% of total exports in monetary terms. Another 15.8% of products were exported to Poland and 7.7% – to Italy.

In 2023, Ukraine reduced exports of semi-finished products by 36.7% compared to 2022, to 1.203 million tons. Compared to the pre-war year 2021, shipments of semi-finished products abroad decreased by 82.2%, or 5.57 million tons. Revenues of domestic enterprises from the export of semi-finished products last year decreased by 48.9% compared to 2022, to $608.52 million.

The largest consumers of Ukrainian semi-finished products in 2023 were Bulgaria – 36.7%, Poland – 23%, and Italy – 9.6%.

In 2023, Ukrainian steelmaking companies continued to operate amid limited logistics capabilities and unfavorable global market conditions. Ukraine’s major steel companies, Metinvest Group’s Kametstal and Zaporizhstal, and ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, operated last year at capacity utilization rates of 65-75% and 20-30%, respectively. This year, the industry plans to increase production due to the partial reopening of sea exports.

In the 12th package of sanctions adopted at the end of 2023, the EU introduced new and expanded existing restrictions on iron and steel products from Russia. In particular, the ban on imports of pig iron and mirror iron and direct reduced iron (DRI) from Russia was extended.

At the same time, the EU extended quotas on Russian slabs for another four years. In particular, the total quota for imports of Russian slabs 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), when it was decided that slab imports could continue until the end of September 2024. Thus, the 12th sanctions package actually eased the previously imposed restrictions.