Russian pig iron producer Tulachermet, part of the metallurgical Koks Group, idled a blast furnace for maintenance earlier this week, at a time when the pig iron market is at a standstill.

The world’s largest pig iron exporter idled pig iron production at its blast furnace No2 on Tuesday May 28, with the maintenance scheduled to last until July 2.

The shutdown will decrease Tulachermet’s production capacity by 30%, resulting in a loss of 63,000 tonnes of basic pig iron output.

Tulachermet finds the timing of the maintenance work advantageous, given the weak demand and falling prices currently seen in the pig iron market. 

“That’s why the shutdown should not affect Tulachermet’s and Koks Group’s overall margins,” Koks Group chief commercial officer Vyacheslav Mororzov said on May 28.

“Meanwhile, production efficiency [at blast furnace No2] will increase after its maintenance and we shall be able to return to the market with additional output volumes when demand for pig iron improves,” he said.

Metal Bulletin sister title Steel First assessed the price for Russia-origin basic low-manganese pig iron at $410-425 per tonne fob Baltic Sea on May 30, below the $425-440 per tonne level seen earlier in the month.

Russian steelmaker Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) idled its 1.3 million-tpy Lipetsk furnace due to weak demand on May 30.

Nina Nasman
Twitter: @NNasman_SF