20 Jul 2009 19:29

Ukraine could boost steel, pig iron output 14% in July

KYIV. July 20 (Interfax) - Steel and pig iron production in Ukraine will grow 14% in July to 2.65 million tonnes and 2.3 million tonnes, respectively, while the output of rolled products will grow 10% to 2.24 million tonnes, Industrial Policy Minister Volodymyr Novytskyy told the government newspaper Uryadovy Courier in an interview.

"We expect that July will be one of the most successful months of the year for metals producers thanks to the recovery of external markets, growth in sales and prices as well as a considerable release of goods from stock," he said, noting that the forecast for July is based on the results of the first ten days of the month.

Steel production grew 8.5% to 2.304 million tonnes in June compared to May, pig iron - 8% to 2.016 million tonnes and rolled products - 0.5% to 2.091 million tonnes.

Novytskyy also said that stocks of rolled products at ports had declined almost 54.5% to 0.67 million tonnes since the peak of the global financial crisis in November.

The Industrial Policy Ministry reported steel production fell 39% in the first half of 2009 compared to the same period of 2008, pig iron - 35%, roll - 36%, coke - 26%, steel pipes - 43% and metalware - 50%.

The Metallurgprom metals association said earlier that steel production would grow to 2.55 million tonnes in July, pig iron - 2.2 million tonnes and rolled products - 2.35 million tonnes. The association also said that steel production would grow 2.92 million tonnes, pig iron - 2.5 million tonnes and rolled products - 2.6 million tonnes.