FOCUS: CIS pig iron exports to decrease in 2019 after 2018 peak
Pig iron shipments from the Commonwealth of Independent States, which cover almost two thirds of global exports, are expected to decrease in 2019 after reaching a peak in 2018 because suppliers are redirecting pig iron from the export market for captive use, sources told Fastmarkets.
Over the first half of 2019, pig iron exports from Russia and Ukraine came to 3.5 million tonnes, according to data from the International Steel Statistics Bureau (ISSB). This is a 25% fall from the first half of last year, when combined exports from both countries amounted to 4.6 million tonnes.
Overall pig iron exports from Russia and Ukraine in 2018 was around 8.8 million tonnes, the highest level since 2003, according to ISSB. Global pig iron exports were estimated to be above 13.5 million tonnes in 2018, one source said.
“Pig iron exports from the CIS were supported by higher demand in the United States, where steel output started to increase after Section 232 [import tariffs were announced in March 2018],” another source said.
In the US, pig iron imports were recorded at 6 million tonnes in 2018, according to the ISSB.
Exports from Russia