Iron ore refining at ArcelorMittal hampered by war in Ukraine
Russian forces continue to launch rocket attacks on Ukrainian cities and energy networks. So far, the destruction has prompted at least one steelmaker and one iron ore producer to cut production levels.
Integrated longs producer ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih recently announced that it would limit the electricity consumption of its most energy-intensive equipment. According to an October 11 telegram, loading and shipping of finished goods will continue as normal for now.
ArcelorMittal Kriviy Rih is located in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast region. The site can produce approximately 6 million metric tons per year of crude steel via the BF/BOF route. It molds it into billets to roll it into long products such as wire rod, rebar and merchant bars.
MetalMiner’s free weekly newsletter provides up-to-date metal price information on a wide range of commodities, including steel and iron ore.
Iron Ore Company Ferrexpo also suspends operations
“Three steel mills in parts of the country under Kyiv control – ArcelorMittal Kryviy Rih, Kamet Steel and Zaporizhstal – are now operating at an average of 50-60% capacity, which totals 13.5 million metric tons per year,” sources said. “The pipe and tube manufacturing group Interpipe, in Dnipro, also casts around 1.3 million metric tons per year of round billets via an electric arc furnace. It is unclear, however, if the plant is now functioning.
“Engineers are currently carrying out an assessment of the damage to the electrical infrastructure,” Ferrexpo said. The company also added that it was trying to make an “estimate of the production downtime period as repairs are made.”
Ferrexpo’s active iron ore mining and beneficiation assets are located in Poltava, Yeristovo and Belanovo. In an Oct. 9 press release, the company said its total commercial production for the first nine months of 2022 was 5.72 million metric tons. This indicates a drop of almost a third year over year from 8.43 million metric tons.
“The group can confirm that it currently has sufficient volume of its products, either currently in transit or in stock, to meet its expected sales volumes, subject to logistics corridors remaining available,” the statement said. of Ferrexpo.
Receive steel buying strategies and price alerts. Request a trial version of MetalMiner Outlook.
Front lines and tactics shift amid Ukraine gains
On October 10, Ukrainian Railways sent telegrams warning that damage to overhead wires could shut down electric trains and locomotives, further slowing iron ore refining. The state rail operator said it was preparing diesel locomotives in response.
Rocket attacks on October 10 and 11 hit the capital Kyiv, the western city of L’viv and Zaporizhstal. The latter is home to the Ukrainian flat steel producer of the same name.
In addition to cutting power in several areas, these attacks resulted in a number of civilian deaths. The barrage followed the October 8 explosion on the Crimean Bridge. The blast proved powerful enough to destroy most of the westbound lanes used by Russian troops.
The fixed structure connects mainland Russia with the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014 via the Kerch Strait. For months, it served as a logistics line for the delivery of Russian personnel and equipment.
Russian President Vladimir Putin described the incident as a terrorist attack and blamed Ukrainian special services for the assault. Indeed, Ukraine has made significant gains in recent weeks. However, these new attacks show that the conflict remains extremely heated.
The MetalMiner Insights platform includes global iron ore prices, premiums, forecasts and specific monthly buy strategies. Request a 30-minute demo of the MetalMiner Insights platform now.