GMK Center analyzed steel traders market of Ukraine and selected leading companies
The state of the Ukrainian domestic steel trade market can be considered an indicator of the general economic situation in Ukraine. If business activity increases, the demand for steel products also increases. However, the military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine made significant adjustments to the functioning of the steel trade market and the level of demand. During the war, steel traders quickly adapted to both the military situation and changes in market demand and logistics.
GMK Center managed to identify more than 20 active steel traders of Ukraine: they work throughout the territory, have dozens of steel depots and continue to develop.
In general, there are significantly more steel traders in Ukraine than the 21 companies represented on the map. But in the conditions of the war, not all of them were able to continue their work. GMK Center launched for its readers separate section Traders, where we collected information about the main market players.
The main part of steel trading companies has offices in Kyiv. However, in some cases, management and sales are distributed in other large cities of Ukraine. As a rule, the assortment of steel products of traders differs insignificantly – popular types of flat and long rolled products, pipes, graded and shaped rolled products, etc. However, a larger number of companies gravitate towards consumers from the construction sector.
Steel trading companies actively sell Ukrainian products produced by Zaporizhstal, ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih, Ukrainian pipe factories and foreign producers. However, some companies specialize exclusively in imported rolled steel.
The biggest traders
According to the aggregate of assessments, the companies Metinvest-SMC, AV Metal Group, Vartis, Vikant and Metal Holding can be included in the TOP-5 steel traders of Ukraine.
Metinvest-SMC – the market leader in the sale of rolled steel in Ukraine, which sold 2.65 million tons of products on the domestic market even in the pre-war year of 2020. The company has been operating since 2002. Through a network that includes 14 own steel centers in the largest industrial cities of the country (Kyiv, Kharkiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Kryvyi Rih, Kremenchuk, Odesa, Lviv, etc.), a distribution center in Dnipro and 16 distributors in various regions of the country, Metinvest-SMC sells a full range of ferrous steel products, which are produced at the facilities of the Metinvest group enterprises (Zaporizhstal, Kametstal, Unisteel, Metinvest Trametal, Promet Steel), as well as other large steel producers. The number of wholesale and retail customers of the company exceeds 3,000.
Metinvest-SMC actively helps the Armed Forces with steel products that protect the lives of soldiers and equipment – body armors, sheets for armored shields for combat equipment, trench modules, etc. In addition, the company is already preparing for the post-war reconstruction of the country.
«We have constant access to the stock of rolled steel in the warehouses of METINVEST-SMC, which, according to the latest estimates, reaches 130 thousand tons and is represented by a full range of black rolled steel. The company’s self-sufficiency in iron ore and steel allows us to establish a flexible pricing policy, taking into account the interests of our customers in all regions of Ukraine. Today, the company’s steel centers work in a mode of continuous modernization. Our clients can use a range of services for cutting, assembly and delivery of prefabricated batches of metal. We aspire to constantly improve the quality of service and implement positive changes in the company’s work,» says Metinvest SMC.
In May Metinvest-SMC developed the concept of reconstruction of the country with the involvement of domestic producers. The concept, called «Steel Dream», contains a set of ready-made solutions for the construction of housing and social infrastructure from steel, which can be adapted to the needs of specific communities. Currently, 15 Ukrainian enterprises that produce steel structures are ready to participate in the project.
AV Metal Group
Company AV Metal Group has been operating on the Ukrainian market since 2009, offering consumers 2,000 items of rolled steel – graded, shaped, tubular and flat. The company has 37 wholesale and 280 retail sales offices. During the current year, the company updated steel service centers in Vinnytsia, Kropyvnytskyi and Krasnograd. The company’s structure also includes production sites in 12 cities. The company produces more than 20 categories of rolled steel (profile and round pipe, rebar, reinforcing heavy meshes, steel mesh, fence sections, wire variations, profiled sheet – more than 25 types of profiles, steel tiles, siding and etc. In the summer of 2023, the company launched a new line for the production of roofing and facade material in Kyiv.
The company also equipped its steel depots with places for the comfortable living of temporarily displaced persons and people who lost their homes due to Russian aggression. The company’s steel depots have living rooms, showers, playgrounds and kitchens.
«AV Metal Group» company takes an active part in the social and public life of the country. First of all, we provide material and technical support to socially vulnerable categories of the population: we insulate orphanages, support families of ATO participants. Our shelters are in Oleksandria, Frankivsk, Lviv, Kropyvnytskyi, Kyiv. We built and continue to build them as part of the AV Metal Group social initiative,» the company emphasized.
Vartis – the company has been working on the rolled steel market of Ukraine since 1997, and since 2016 has been among the leaders of the steel trading market, offering customers products of European, Turkish and Ukrainian producers. The assortment includes 33 categories of rolled steel (over 1000 products) and 14 categories of related and construction products (over 1500 products). Vartis is a distributor of ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih steel plant products.
The company’s network of steel centers is located in 15 regions of Ukraine and includes more than 50 steel bases. In the first half of 2023, the company opened 9 new steel centers, and recently 7 new retail facilities were added to them in Cherkasy, Zarvantsy, Vinnytsia, Zarichany, Lviv, Brody, and Ternopil. The company plans to further expand the regional network. Also Vartis is a producers of steel products. In April 2023, a line for the production of mesh for rebar concrete structures was launched. Vartis also produces steel wire, which is used for the production of mesh.
The company is actively engaged in the development of its own wholesale and retail steel centers throughout Ukraine and ensures the constant availability of a large assortment of rolled steel and construction goods in its warehouses.
In particular, the company also implements humanitarian projects. By the way, Vatris supported the artistic initiative – the 18th Venice Biennale Architettura 2023.
«Kindness, care, mutual support and participation are what unite Ukrainians today. Our unity is our strength. During the war, we showed great courage and selflessness in helping the military, rescuing animals, building barricades, and rescuing people when populated areas were flooded. We are proud to be Ukrainians and to be involved in the representation of Ukraine at the Venice Architecture Biennale,» commented Anastasia Vasylenko, communications manager of the Vartis National Network of Steel Centers.
Vikant – the company has been working on the Ukrainian steel trade market since 1997 and offers customers more than 800 items of rolled steel in its network of 20 steel depots throughout the country. In addition, the company sells building materials from its warehouses in Kyiv and Dnipro. Vikant has its own production of rebar frames, welding electrodes, small circles and unwinding of wire rod and scrap rebar.
The company sells the products of the largest steel plants of Ukraine, Asia and Europe. Vikant is constantly expanding its fleet to improve service. The company’s employees regularly undergo training and certification in order to improve their professional skills and service quality.
The company has been working on the rolled steel market for 31 years. The company occupies a leading position, providing a wide range of services related to pre-sale preparation, sale and delivery of rolled steel. Since 2010, the company Metal Holding has been a supplier of products made of black and stainless steel, as well as aluminum. The company’s network includes 13 steel depots throughout the country. In particular, three new steel centers were opened in 2023 – in Zhytomyr, Rivne and Kropyvnytskyi. The company sells products of major Ukrainian producers – Metinvest and ArcelorMittal.
«This year we proudly opened three new branches in the cities of Zhytomyr, Rivne and Kropyvnytskyi, expanding our presence and increasing opportunities for cooperation. Our activity is growing, despite the difficult times for our country. We actively support the Armed Forces of Ukraine, participate in volunteer projects and believe in the immediate victory of Ukraine. Every year, the company’s team takes the initiative to help children in an orphanage,» adds Metal Holding.
The structure of the Ukrainian domestic steel trade market will change under the influence of customs duties imposed on one of the most demanded types of steel products – painted rolled steel from China. It can be expected that traders will have to refocus on other producers (Bharat, Turkiye, etc.), the specific weight of Chinese products will decrease sharply, and national producers will increase somewhat, in particular, thanks to the commissioning of new production facilities for the production of rolled products with a polymer coating.
In addition, Ukraine recently imposed anti-dumping duties against wire and pipes from China, as well as bars from Belarus. But the impact of these measures on the domestic market will be much smaller.
The trend of import growth may become long-term, since not all Ukrainian steel plants remaining in the unoccupied territory of the country will be able to quickly resume production of similar products in terms of assortment and/or quantity of products produced. Steel traders have already adapted their work and logistics to the conditions of war, which allows to quickly enough satisfy permanent or situational internal needs with the help of steel product imports. In eight months, 706.3 thousand tons of rolled steel were imported into Ukraine, which is 30.4% of the domestic market.