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26 June, 2013 16:00   ▪  

Financial Times: Ukraine’s steel industry can thank Gazprom for putting it on course for a solid future

“The added weight of surging prices for fuel imported from Russia has made the past seven years extra hard for Ukraine’s massive steel industry,” argues Financial Times.

“With cyclical peaks and troughs, not least being the 2009 economic crisis, the global steel market is a difficult one for the most competitive of metallurgical enterprises. The added weight of surging prices for fuel imported from Russia has made the past seven years extra hard for Ukraine’s massive steel industry.

Yet, while the country’s economy remains heavily dependent on foreign fuel, its steel sector is making headway in its efforts to break a longstanding addiction to once cheap, but now expensive, Russian natural gas,” writes FT.

“According to Dragon Capital, the Kiev-based investment bank, Ukraine’s steel industry has cut gas consumption from 9.6bn cu m in 2005 to 4.8bn cu m last year.

Steel production has fallen during this period, from 37.7m tons to 32.3m. Yet, for Ukraine, the big challenge is not about churning out more, but to produce higher quality steel more efficiently and profitably,” FT underlines.

“Market conditions are far from ideal, but Ukraine’s steel industry can thank Gazprom for putting it on course for a solid future, forcing it to become as efficient and competitive as the best of its European peers. Upgrades are in motion at the country’s other 13-plus mills.” 


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