Ukraine's steel exports fell 39% y/y to $6.4bn in 2015, mainly due to shrinking prices on global markets, the country's Metallurgprom association said on February 2.
In volume terms, steel exports declined by 15.3% y/y to 17.1mn tonnes, while Ukraine exported 85.5% of its total metals output. Steel imports fell by 36.3% y/y to 0.7mn tonnes.
Having accounted for around 15% of the country's economic output in the pre-crisis period, the steel industry remains under pressure from shrinking prices on global markets and the military conflict in the eastern Donbas industrial heartland, where many factories were closed or are running with diminished production capacity.
Falling steel exports were among the key reasons for the country's exports drop in 2015. According to official statistics, exports of merchandise shrunk $14.9bn y/y in January-November, with steel exports responsible for 37% ($5.5bn) of the decline.
"We estimate Ukraine's total metallurgy exports (ferrous, non-ferrous metals and ores) decreased 38% y/y to $11.59bn in 2015, and will continue to fall in dollar terms this year too, solely driven by weaker prices," Alexander Paraschiy of the Concorde Capital brokerage in Kyiv wrote in a research note. The analyst forecasts a further decrease of 18% y/y to $9.54bn in 2016.
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