Discontinuation of Fastmarkets’ price assessment for Black Sea steel plate exports

Fastmarkets has discontinued its price assessment for steel heavy plate, 8-50mm, export, fob Black Sea, CIS (MB-STE-0013), due to a substantial reduction in market activity.

After a consultation period, Fastmarkets on August 23 suspended its export price assessment for plate from the Black Sea. Trade flow in the material has faded since Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

The largest share of plate exports from the Black Sea was taken by material from Ukraine, produced mainly at Metinvest’s Azovstal steelworks in the south-eastern city of Mariupol.

That city has been occupied by Russian forces since late May, while the Azovstal factory itself was seriously damaged by Russian shelling and bombing during the battle for control of the area.

Metinvest has been unable to make reliable estimates about the extent of the destruction, but the company nevertheless plans to rebuild the mill, although that process will take at least three years.

It is technically possible to produce limited volumes of some specifications of plate at Metinvest’s partly-owned Zaporizhstal Iron & Steel Works in central Ukraine. But Ukraine’s key Black Sea ports remain under blockade by Russia, and only small tonnages of steel can be transported by road and rail, with shipping bottlenecks further restricting movements across the border.

Russian steel plate producers have traditionally focused on supplying the domestic market, primarily local pipe manufacturers and government projects, and they are able to continue to export from Black Sea ports. Europe was the key export destination for Ukrainian steel plate, however, and that market will now not touch Russian material due to the international sanctions imposed because of the war.

If you have any comments on the discontinuation of this price, please contact Marina Shulga by email at: pricing@fastmarkets.com. Please add the subject heading ‘FAO: Marina Shulga, re: steel heavy plate, fob Black Sea.’

To see all Fastmarkets’ pricing methodology and specification documents, go to: https://www.fastmarkets.com/about-us/methodology

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