Iron ore

In December 2022, Ukrainian miners shipped 764,940 tons of iron ore abroad

In 2022, Ukrainian mining companies reduced the export of iron ore by 45.9% compared to 2021 – to 23.98 million tons. In monetary terms, the export of iron ore for the year decreased by 57.8% y/y – to $2.91 billion. This is evidenced by the customs statistics’ data.

In December 2022, Ukrainian miners sent 764.9 thousand tons of iron ore abroad, which is 79.3% less compared to the same month of 2021. The revenues of companies from the export of military equipment for December 2022 decreased by 73.5% – to $71.63 million.

On a monthly basis, iron ore exports in December 2022 decreased by 2.3% in physical terms, and by 1.3% in monetary terms.

In January-April 2022, the export of Ukrainian iron ore amounted to 12.98 million tons, that is, about 3.2 million tons of iron ore were shipped per month. At the same time, in May-December 2022, 11 million tons of iron ore were sent for export – about 1.37 million tons per month.

In 2022, Slovakia consumed the most Ukrainian iron ore – 19.23%. The Czech Republic is in the second place with 17.32%, and Poland is in the third place with 16.49%. Thus, since the beginning of the war, European countries have become the main importers of iron ore from Ukraine, displacing China from this list, which at the beginning of 2022 was the largest consumer of Ukrainian raw materials.

Export of iron ore from Ukraine in 2022

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.

Problems with logistics are superimposed on unfavorable market conditions – iron ore prices are falling. As a result, Ukrainian mining and processing plants are forced to completely stop or reduce the iron ore production.

As of January 13, 2023, iron ore prices in Dalian and Singapore were $130.96/t and $126.4/t, respectively. Quotations hit a 17-month high amid tight supply of iron ore in the Chinese market.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in 2021, Ukraine reduced the export of ferrous metals by 4.2% compared to 2020 – to 44.5 million tons. In monetary terms, the indicator increased by 62.8% y/y – up to $6.9 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.