Ukraine's steel sector

During the month, mining companies of Ukraine shipped 1.21 million tons of ferrous metals to foreign consumers

In February 2023, Ukrainian mining companies increased the export of iron ore by 31% compared to January 2023 – up to 1.215 million tons. In monetary terms, the export of iron ore increased by 13.3% m/m – up to $125.58 million. This is evidenced by State Customs Service’s data.

In January-February 2023, Ukrainian steelmakers exported 2.14 million tons of iron ore worth $236.4 million. It is impossible to compare the figure for February and January-February 2023 with the volume of iron ore exports for the same periods in 2022, as there is no relevant data.

In January-February 2023, Slovakia consumed the most Ukrainian iron ore – 27.98%. The Czech Republic is in the second place with 27.59%, and Poland is in the third place with 21.33%. At the same time, before the start of the war in Ukraine, the main consumer of Ukrainian iron ore was China, but due to the blockade of Ukrainian ports, the delivery of raw materials to the People’s Republic of China became impossible.

After the invasion of Russia on the territory of Ukraine, domestic steel companies reduced the export of products to a minimum due to the blockade of sea ports. Steelmakers are looking for ways to ship their products through the railway infrastructure, but due to the influx of cargo, Ukrzaliznytsia and border crossings are unable to cope. In addition, this method of cargo delivery is unprofitable due to the two-fold increase in costs.

In addition, at the end of 2022, the Russian Federation began shelling Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. The country’s industry lost the possibility of normal operation, because the power system generated significantly less electricity than was needed. Thus, steelmakers suspended work or significantly reduced production.

At the beginning of 2023, the situation stabilized, steel plants began to restore suspended capacities and increase production, but in order to return to pre-war levels, the unblocking of seaports is required.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in 2022 Ukraine reduced the export of ferrous metals by 45.9% compared to 2021 – to 23.98 million tons. In monetary terms, the indicator fell by 57.8% y/y – to $2.91 billion.

The major iron ore producers in Ukraine include: Ingulets GOK, Kryvyi Rih Iron Ore Plant, Poltava Mining, Northern GOK, Central GOK, Southern GOK, ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, Sukha Balka GOK and Zaporizhzhia Iron Ore Plant.