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The prospects of steel exports: the old "niche" for Ukraine?

In February, Ukrainian exports of steel products fell to 3-year low. Analysis of consumer demand in key export sectors indicates that the replacement located in the stagnant European market can only be a return to good old East.

According to the Government, for the first two months of 2012 Ukrainian metallurgists have put on the export of 3.596 million tons of steel, which is 7,9% less than the APPG. At the same time in February Ukrainian steel exports fell to lowest level in three years and was 1.525 million tonnes, which is less than in January 2012 by 26.4%.


European Union

Governments in the euro area continue to actively combat budget deficits, however, forecasts for the EU economy in the current year suggest that in 2012 the eurozone economy will still grow slower than previously expected pace. Thus, in Ernst & Young believe that this year GDP will decline in Europe by 0.5%.

In these economic conditions, decreases the activity of steel consuming industries, which exacerbates the situation in the EU steel sector. In particular, because of the weakness of the domestic market in Italy, which is the largest consumer of Ukrainian steel, the level of overproduction in the country reached 30%.


However, not all EU countries, the economic situation is so deplorable. Thus, Poland remains one of the few countries in Europe, where economic growth is preserved, as well as domestic consumption of steel. In particular, it is expected that the GDP for the year in Poland will grow by 3%. In addition, the Polish Steel Association (Hutnicza Izba Przemysіowo-Handlowa, HIPH) predict that this year the country's steel consumption should grow by 5.5% to 11.6 million tons

German industry, in view of improvement in demand from the automotive sector and pipe companies managed to increase in March, the average price of flat-rolled for 20 euros per ton. The lower level of demand observed by the construction. It should be noted that at present the domestic German market is a shortage of flat-rolled products, due to the suspension of production facilities, as well as a lack of imports. In this regard, it is expected that the volume of steel imports into the country in the near future may increase, thereby putting pressure on local producers.


Near East

The macroeconomic situation in the region now looks much better than in Europe. Thus, it is expected that this year the economy of most Middle Eastern countries will grow. In particular, GDP growth in the UAE is projected at 3.1% in Saudi Arabia - 3.3%, Iran - by 3.4%, Egypt - 4% in Kuwait - by 3.6%.

It should be noted that in these countries is rapidly increasing number of ongoing infrastructure projects. For example, in Kuwait on the subway project length of 160 km. planned to allocate about $ 7 billion in the construction of subway lines, which will be invested in a $ 392 million is planned in Cairo. In Saudi Arabia will invest about $ 397 million in the construction of a hotel complex consisting of four towers.

In Turkey, one of the largest consumers of Ukrainian steel in the current year GDP growth in 2012 is projected at 4.48%. The growth of consumption, according to the expectations of the Turkish Steel Association (DCUD), will be 7% (up to 29 million tons). Since the end of March in the country is growing demand from the construction sector. These suppliers have used the semi-increasing cost of some of its products. Thus, the April workpiece Ukrainian suppliers are invited to the Turkish market at $ 600-610 / t FOB, and will soon cut prices, they do not plan to, as in the domestic market, semi-sold at $ 625-640 / t Accordingly, in the Turkish market, domestic suppliers feel confident enough.

It is worth noting the growth in steel consumption in Iran - from the automotive industry, car-building industry and shipbuilding. In particular, the planned construction of a new shipyard, which will be carried out repair and construction of ships and oil tankers with a displacement of 300 tons will also be built 12 rigs, which will invest more than $ 2.5 billion is expected in April after New Year celebrations on the Iranian calendar, market return, local buyers as well as transactions in this direction were not concluded for several weeks and in the domestic market was formed pent-up demand.


South-East Asia

The current global economic recession is the least impact on the economic situation in Southeast Asia. Certainly, the pace of economic growth in recent years have decreased, which also contributed to the disasters that have swept the beginning of the year, but despite this, the Asian economies will continue to grow. Thus, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, annual GDP growth in the region before 2016 will be about 5.6%. Not only China and India, but most of the ASEAN countries, in particular, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia are investing significant resources in the implementation of major infrastructure projects, which, respectively, will contribute to the growth in steel consumption.

The exception is Vietnam, whose economy remains depressed, and where the construction sector as the main consumer of the metal, is in deep crisis. Thus, the local company in March, virtually halted purchases of g / to rent, without taking even a proposal of some Chinese suppliers at $ 640-645 / t CFR, with an average of spot prices of $ 680-690 / t At the same time, Vietnamese exporters in early March, increasing the delivery of its products to neighboring countries, particularly in Indonesia and the Philippines.



Russian GDP growth rates this year by some estimates make up 3.5%. It is also expected that the national currency is stable, due to control the rate of inflation the Central Bank of Russia. According to Russian metal trading companies, the growth rate of steel consumption for the year will amount to 5-8%. The main drivers of this growth will increase demand from the automotive, construction and engineering industries.


However, the current increase in activity in the consuming industries prevents the slowdown in government funding and private investment. Under these conditions, local manufacturers were forced to lower the cost of fittings for domestic sales in April. However, in April, is expected to significantly increase domestic demand in Russia due to increased construction activity due to seasonal factors.