25 May 2022 15:47

Industry and Trade Ministry not ruling out drop in demand for steel in Russia within single digits in 2022, does not agree with WSA outlook

MOSCOW. May 25 (Interfax) - Russia's Industry and Trade Ministry is not ruling out a drop in demand for steel on the domestic market in 2022, though it would be within single digits, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov told reporters on Wednesday.

"Some adjustment [in domestic demand for steel] is possible, including downward, though this would definitely not be in the double digits," Manturov said.

Manturov also noted that he could not agree with the outlook of the World Steel Association (WSA) that expects a drop of 20% in demand for steel in Russia this year.

"I would not confirm these expert assessments. We do not see this. Moreover, domestic demand remains, based on implementing the national projects and developing sectors in industry in general, particularly the construction industry, which is one of the major consumers of metal products. We do not see this [significant drop in demand]," the minister said, recalling that despite traditional European markets for the industry being mostly closed today, "there are other markets, and they are appearing, and we are reconfiguring our logistics in terms of supplying our products."

The WSA in April forecast that steel consumption in Russia would fall 20% to 35.1 million tonnes in 2022 from 43.9 million tonnes in 2021, and the association does not expect a change in the volume of metal consumption in Russia in 2023.

The Russian Steel Association, which unites the country's largest producers of metal products, in March forecast that the cumulative drop in domestic demand for steel could reach 30%, around 13 million tonnes, in 2022.