Ukrainian Steel Mills Suffer 54% Drop in Steel Production Amidst Russian Invasion


Ukrainian steel mills reported a 54% drop year-over-year in crude steel production for the first four months of 2023. That figure comes directly from a report published by local association Ukrmetalurgprom.

The association noted that operating mills in the country poured about 1.81 million metric tons of the liquid metal from January 1 to April 30. This is significantly less than the 3.93 million metric tons witnessed over the same period in 2022.


The data from Ukrmetalurgprom covers Zaporizhstal, ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih, Kametstal, Dniprospetssteel. However, the reporting analyst declined to say at what percentage of capacity the facilities were operating.

It is worth noting that the data does not exclude any steel-making assets taken over by Russians. Examples include Alchevsk, Yenakievo, and Donetskstal, as well as the Ilyich and Azovstal plants in Mariupol. “It’s also unclear what those plants’ operating status is at present,” one source told MetalMiner.

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Ukrainian Steel Production Figures

The Ukrmetalurgprom analyst stated that Ukraine’s combined crude steel capacity before the war exceeded 40 million metric tons per year. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022 and included bombing the country’s rail and energy networks. “The conflict also disrupted logistics to and from the plants,” an industry watcher explained to MetalMiner when asked about the decreases.

Mills also took measures to protect themselves in the face of military action. “Steel plants stopped and mothballed production when the war started,” the source stated. “(This was) in order to minimize the damage from shelling.”

Meanwhile, volumes of ferrous scrap deliveries to plants declined to 292,800 metric tons. According to Ukrmetalurgprom, this is roughly half of the 583,500 metric tons seen a year ago. Collections of ferrous scrap within the country also fell 40.8% to 366,600 metric tons from 620,100 metric tons.

Scrap Exports Also Down


Ukraine’s State Migration Service also showed that scrap exports totaled just 56,400 metric tons, a several-fold decrease from the 7,100 MT seen in 2022. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Scrap Metal Association noted that ferrous scrap reserves in the country were 20,000-25,000 metric tons as of May 1.

Ferrous scrap is a raw material with two primary uses. Steelmakers will either charge it into basic oxygen furnaces to increase steel content in the production process with pig iron or into electric arc furnaces.

Separately, over the first four months of 2023, finished production in Ukraine declined by more than half. Ukrmetalurgprom analysts noted that output reached 1.51 million metric tons, down from about 3.44 million metric tons for the first four months of 2022.

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