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Belarusian steel output is steady so far this year

Friday, 20 August 2010

Belarus’s production of crude steel was stable at 1.3m tonnes and finished product output fell by 3% to 1.2mt in the first half of 2010 compared to January-June 2009, Steel Business Briefing learns from the country’s statistical committee.

Belarus’s sole producer of crude steel and long products, Byelorussian Steel Works (BMZ), stopped its 320mm rolling mill for repairs in May for a short period, causing a small decrease in national output of rolled steel in the first half; this was mainly rebar, which normally comprises half of BMZ’s overall output.

BMZ sells its rebar domestically and in export markets, primarily the Middle Eastern and Baltic regions.

“We have sold September longs output and have attracted several orders for October. The rebar and merchant bar market is currently active,” a source at the plant tells SBB. “Besides, domestic rebar consumption remains steady due to the government’s support for housing construction and the building industry in general. This prevented us from experiencing a downturn last year,” the source adds.

While January-June this year saw steel mills worldwide ramp up production, they were recovering from sharp declines in 2009. Unlike many foreign counterparts, BMZ did not experience such declines. Its crude steel output fell by just 1% year-on-year in the first six months of 2009, while its output of rolled products even experienced an uptick of 2%.

Belarus’s steel pipe production, though, did suffer last year, but increased by 69.4% y-o-y in the first half of 2010, with output totalling 80,500t.

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