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Increased output in Russia and Belarus was offset by the sharp decline in Ukraine’s production amid the military action in the east of the country, and in Moldova on scrap shortages and weak market sentiment.

Ukraine, the region’s second-largest steelmaker, saw production drop by 29% year-on-year to 1.9 million tonnes in December.

Steel mills in Russia, the largest producer in the region, raised their December crude steel output by 3% year-on-year to a total of 5.95 million tonnes.

Kazakhstan’s crude steel output inched down by 2% year-on-year to 274,000 tonnes, while steel production in Belarus was up by 42% year-on-year to 225,000 tonnes.

For the whole year of 2014, CIS steelmakers produced a total of 105.09 million tonnes of steel, down by 3% year-on-year due to Ukraine’s turmoil.