Russia-focused steel-maker Evraz reported a drop in third quarter steel output and a sharp drop in the sale of finished steel products.
The drop in steel production was split roughly evenly between its two main markets, the Russian Federation and the US, although the company blamed the shutdown of blast furnace number five and launch of number six for the decline.
Over the three months to September, output in the two countries fell by 3.3% to 2.89m tonnes and by 13.2% to 334m tonnes, respectively.
Combined output was down by 4.4% to reach 3.23m.
Its mining operations however began to recover, with total raw coking coal mined rebounding by 14.6% over the latest three-month stretch to 4.78m tonnes.
The latter was driven by the completion of longwall moves at its Alardinskaya and Esaulskaya mines during the quarter, while the Razrez Raspdasky mine resumed operations.
Iron ore production was up by 1.4% on the quarter at 3.51m.
On a nine-month basis, total crude steel production was only 1.9% lower, while that of iron ore was 0.7% ahead, but that of raw coking coal dropped by 27.4%.
Total sales of steel products fell by 9.5% on the quarter to 3.11m tonnes, led by 24.1% decline in those of semi-finished products to 1.31m while sales of finished products rose by 1.75m, helped in part by “better” market conditions in Russia.
On a nine-month basis meanwhile, sales semi-finished steel products were up by 8.4% and those of finished products down by 9.8%.
Sales of coking coal products were ahead by 23.6% on the quarter to 3.46m tonnes with Evraz citing improved market conditions.
However, sales of vanadium in slag fell 19.6% to 1.61m tonnes, while those of vanadium final products increased 13.4% to 2.78m.
Evraz credited increased steel utilisation and a slight recovery in the auto industry for the latter, alongside changes in sales and mix to serve the Chinese oxide market.
Sales of iron ore were also higher, by 9% to 486,000 tonnes due to export demand.
www.ferroalloynet.com