Rolled steel

The costs of Ukrainian consumers on the import of flat rolled products increased by 31.8% m/m

In May 2023, Ukraine increased imports of flat products by 32.1% compared to April 2023 – up to 85.7 thousand tons. Import costs in May increased by 31.8% m/m – up to $100.4 million. This is evidenced by State Customs Service’s data.

Compared to May 2022, in May 2023, Ukraine increased the costs of importing flat rolled products by 2.5 times. Import volumes increased by 4 times.

In January-May 2023, Ukraine consumed 318,100 tons of imported flat products worth $376.2 million. The costs of importing foreign products increased by 85% compared to the same period last year, and the volume of deliveries increased by 2.7 times.

In January-April 2023, Ukraine imported coated flat rolled products with a width of 600 mm and more the most (Nomenclature – 7210) – 151.7 thousand tons for $185.72 million. In May, the import of such products increased by 15.1% m/m – up to 34.9 thousand tons, and purchase costs amounted to $42.2 million (+13.8% m/m).

Also, 111.7 thousand tons of uncoated hot-rolled flat products with a width of 600 mm and more (Nomenclature – 7208) for $101.8 million were imported, and in May – 38.1 thousand tons (+35.8% m/m) for $35.7 million (+36.7% m/m).

In the top three among the types of flat rolled products by the volume of imports to Ukraine in January-May 2023 – cold-rolled flat products made of carbon steel without coating with a width of 600 mm and more (Nomenclature – 7209) – 26.59 thousand tons for $24.1 million In May, deliveries of such products to Ukraine increased by 3.3 times compared to the previous month – up to 5.99 thousand tons, and in monetary terms – by 2.8 times m/m – up to $5.78 million.

China, Turkiye and Slovakia were the largest suppliers of coated flat rolled products with a width of 600 mm and more in January-May 2023 – 25.7%, 19.5% and 17.4%, respectively, in monetary terms. Turkiye (40.6%), Slovakia (17.6%) and Romania (16.3%) shipped more than 70% of uncoated hot-rolled flat products of 600 mm width and more. Turkiye (60.8%) was the main supplier of uncoated cold-rolled flat products in January-May 2023.

The increase in imports is connected with the destruction of the Mariupol steel plants, which specialized in the production of flat rolled products. In addition, there is the impact of a low base of comparison – last year in March-May economic activity was at a low level due to hostilities. Accordingly, import issues were not in the first place.

In the long term, imports of flat products are expected to increase, especially during post-war reconstruction. Imported supplies will become the main source for meeting domestic demand. In the short term, imports will stabilize at a certain level, given the existing logistical constraints in wartime conditions.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in 2022, Ukraine reduced imports of flat rolled steel by 32.8% compared to 2021 – to 472.01 thousand tons. Import costs for the year decreased by 24.1% y/y – to $698.83 million. The largest suppliers of products were Turkiye, Poland, Slovakia and China.

In January-March 2023, Ukrainian steelmakers exported 58.43 thousand tons of flat rolled products for $38.17 million. That is, the import of flat rolled products exceeds the export of such products by Ukrainian producers by 7.51 thousand tons.