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This number includes actual production volumes for Russia and Ukraine, and estimates for Kazakhstan, Belarus, Uzbekistan and Moldova.

The steel mills in Russia – by far the largest producer in the region and the fifth-largest in the world – made a total of 5.84 million tonnes of crude steel in December, up by 4% year-on-year, according to Worldsteel.

Crude steel output in Ukraine, the region’s second- and the world’s tenth-largest steelmaker, was 2.72 million tonnes in the month, also up by 4% year-on-year.

Ukrainian producers increased their output in December on “a slight improvement in demand”, according to the country’s steelmakers’ union, Metallurgprom.

Kazakhstan’s crude steel output almost doubled year-on-year in December to an estimated 345,000 tonnes, from 167,000 tonnes in the corresponding month of 2012.

Belarus steel production dropped by 22% year-on-year in the month to an estimated 160,000 tonnes, Worldsteel said.

Belarus Steel Works (BMZ) is set to boost its production this year, however, after modernising and relaunching one of its electric arc furnaces.

Uzbekistan’s crude steel output rose by 14% year-on-year in December to 60,000 tonnes, in Worldsteel’s estimation.

Moldova’s estimated steel production slipped by 1% year-on-year to 35,000 tonnes in the month.

The total estimated CIS crude steel output for the full 2013 year was 108.7 million tonnes, down by 2% year-on-year.

Production in Russia in 2013 was down by 2% year-on-year to 69.4 million tonnes.

Ukraine’s crude steel output was 32.8 million tonnes for the year, down by 1% compared with 2012.