Pig iron

During the month, Ukrainian steel companies shipped 137.36 thousand tons of pig iron to foreign consumers

In March 2023, Ukrainian steel companies reduced pig iron exports by 22.4% compared to the previous month – to 137.36 thousand tons. In monetary terms, pig iron deliveries abroad during this period fell by 19.1% m/m – to $52.63 million. This is evidenced by State Customs Service’s data.

In February 2022, steel enterprises of Ukraine shipped abroad only 12.1 thousand tons of pig iron worth $5.98 million.

In the first quarter of 2023, Ukraine exported 449.51 thousand tons of pig iron for $166.2 million. The revenue of steelmakers decreased by 21.7% compared to the same period in 2022, but in natural terms the indicator increased by 2% y/y.

The main consumer of Ukrainian pig iron in January-March 2023 was Poland (56.83%). The share of Spain in the total volume of exports was 18.61%. In the third place is Italy – 11.75%. Before the war, more than half of the iron exported from Ukraine was consumed by the USA.

Export of pig iron from Ukraine in 2023

In March 2023, Ukrainian steelmakers increased pig iron smelting by 32% compared to the previous month – up to 466,000 tons. Compared to March 2022, production decreased by 112.8%. In January-March, 1.2 million tons of pig iron were produced (-65.7% y/y).

The low volumes of production of Ukrainian steelmakers are connected with logistical problems, the unfavorable situation of the world market, as well as with the destruction due to hostilities of the two largest steel enterprises of Ukraine – Azovstal and Ilyich Iron and Steel Works in Mariupol.

The only way to deliver Ukrainian pig iron abroad now is by rail. Due to the large influx of cargo, as the sea ports are blocked, Ukrainian Railways cannot process and transfer wagons with Ukrainian products to the European Union quickly and on time. In addition, logistics costs for the delivery of goods have increased at least by 2 times.

At the end of 2022, the Russian Federation began shelling the Ukrainian energy infrastructure, which led to a shortage of electricity in the power system and emergency shutdowns. Because of this, Ukrainian industry, in particular steel sector, suffered greatly and was forced to suspend or significantly reduce production.

Now the situation with energy supply has stabilized, so the main problem for steelmakers remains the blockade of sea ports and logistical restrictions.

As GMK Center reported earlier, in 2021 pig iron exports from Ukraine increased by 4% compared to 2020 – up to 3.24 million tons. In monetary terms, pig iron deliveries abroad in 2021 increased by 78.1% y/y – up to $1.64 billion.

In 2021, Ukraine sold more than half of its pig iron to the USA (53.6%). In 2021, Italy was in the second place by the volume of supplies of Ukrainian pig iron (22.1%), and Turkiye was in the third place (9.7%).