To stay in the league
Ukraine fights tooth and nail to stay on the list of top 10 global steel manufacturing nations, a KW survey said this week.
The new rating of steelmaking nations recently published by the World Steel Association has published does not look optimistic for Ukraine: among 62 countries on the WSA list Ukraine occupies only 10th place.
China remains the world’s unquestioned leader in the industry, as it produces almost half of all steel in the world: in April it produced 60.5 mn t of the 128.3 mn t of global output. Over the first four months of this year, China poured 233.9 mn t of metal of the world’s 503.9 mn t. Japan, US, Russia, India, South Korea and Germany are also among the leaders but they fall are hopelessly behind the main steel superpower. Suffice to say that in all those countries production volumes in April were only 38.3 mn t and only 152.4 mn t in the first quarter of this year.
On such a background, Ukraine’s potential seems to be even more modest: in April it produced 2.52 mn t of steel and in the first quarter of the year – 10.5 mn t. Brazil and Turkey outran Ukraine by 1 and 2 points respectively. Those countries managed to make progress and overtake Ukrainian steelmakers, even though last year they rounded out the top ten.
Turkey, which managed to improve its position in the global classification, can be demonstrative for the future of Ukrainian steel. The thing is that until recently Turkey has been a major importer of Ukrainian rolled metal, but completion of new facilities has allowed the country to reduce import dependence to a minimum. Over the last 10 years Turkey doubled its production of steel and over the last two years it has boosted manufacturing of flat rolled steel it traditionally bought from Russia and Ukraine. Turkish growth and Ukrainian decline of output coincide, equaling plus and minus 11.4% respectively. Within the next 4 – 5 years Turkey plans to start new production facilities for another 15 mn t, which will make it a powerful rival of Ukraine in Europe and the Middle East, the article reads.