THE GOVERNMENT OF RUSSIA HAS CONSIDERED
PROBLEMS IN FERROUS METALLURGY
A. V. Katsai
Translated from Ogneupory i Tekhnicheskaya Keramika, No. 6, pp. 21 – 23, June, 2002.
The Government of Russia at a session of 16 May 2002
considered a range of measures directed at the development
of domestic metallurgy and its scientific and technological
support. The urgency of this issue comes primarily from the
fact that in the current year, the metallurgical industry has
faced a difficult situation because of the constraints on the
import of steel introduced by the U.S.A. and a number of Eu
ropean countries. These constraints did not leave Russian
manufacturers of steel unconcerned.
Experts of the Ministry for Industry, Science, and Tech-
nology have come to the conclusion that in this situation one
may expect a 50% decline in the total output of metallurgical
products, a reduction, by one-third, of the volume of car-
riage, and a 10 – 15% decline in the national economy.
Therefore, a governmental plan was drawn up by which
a way toward solving the problem must include federal sup-
port of the export of ferrous metallurgy products and appro-
priate protective measures in both internal and external mar-
kets. Furthermore, in order to support the production of fer-
rous metals, tariffs for services from natural monopolies
need to be optimized and modernization of the metallurgical
industry must be carried out.
As an illustration of the situation, one may refer to the
Severstal’ Iron-and-Steel Works (ISW). As follows from sta
tistical reports, the income during the first three months of
2002 at the Severstal’ ISW decreased by 11%, that is, to
11,544.5 million roubles. The product cost was 9,562.5 mil
lion roubles, or 100.3% against the same period of 2001. The
profit from sales dropped by 42%, that is, to 1,774.1 million
roubles. In January – March 2002, the losses were 86.3 mil
lion roubles against a profit of 2,892.4 million roubles in the
first quarter of 2001. The tax on profits and other compulsory
payments for the first three months of 2002 were 408.9 mil
lion roubles, which was 2.5 times less than in 2001. In the
first quarter of 2002, the net loss was 545.8 million roubles
against a net profit of 1,870.3 million roubles over the same
period of 2001.
This notwithstanding, statistical data show that the situa
tion in the metals market is not wholly disastrous. The Rus
sian export of ferrous metals in January – March 2002 in
creased by 6.3% — to $1.42 billion. Ferrous metals in an
amount of $1.27 billion worth was exported to foreign coun
tries (except for the Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS), republics of the former Soviet Union) against
$1.28 billion in 2001. The net export of cast iron from Russia
over this period was 0.896 million tons (1.21 million tons in
January – March 2001), or $75.9 million against $107.2 mil
lion in 2001. The export to Western countries (except CIS)
was 0.833 million tons (against 1.2 million tons in 2001), or
$69.5 million (against $105.5 million in 2001).
The Russian export of semi-finished products of carbon
steel in January – March 2002 was 3.27 million tons (2.8 mil-
lion tons in 2001), or $451.6 million ($413.7 million in
2001). Of these, the export to Western countries (except CIS)
was 3.23 million tons (2.79 million tons in 2001), or
$444.5 million ($412.4 million in 2001). The export of rolled
products (carbon steel) was 2.434 million tons (2.01 million
tons in 2001), or $449.4 million ($378.5 million in 2001).
Most was exported to Western countries (except CIS) —
2.286 million tons (1.988 million tons in 2001), or
$400.6 million ($369.9 million in 2001).
The export of ferroalloys was 75 thousand tons
(89.8 thousand tons in 2001), or $43.6 million ($54 million
in 2001). The export to Western countries (except CIS) was
63.8 thousand tons ($38 1 million).
According to Goskomstat (State Committee of the Rus
sian Federation for Statistics) data, the Russian import of fer
rous metals dropped by 40.5% in the first quarter of 2002
against the same period of 2001 — to $122.6 million.
$91.7 million worth of these products was purchased from
CIS countries (against $176.5 million in 2001). Furthermore,
Russia cut the import of steel tubes by 40.4% in the current
year to 157.4 thousand tons ($126.2 million). From CIS
countries, the import of tubes was 77 thousand tons, or
$37.9 million tons worth (January – March 2001, it was
220.8 thousand tons, or $135.1 million worth).
At the opening of the session, Prime Minister Mikhail
Kas’yanov said that Russia in a new stage of economical de
velopment is facing three major challenges: increase in pro
ductivity of labor, development of market competition, and
more effective participation of Russia in the international di
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 43, Nos.5–6, 2002
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Rosénergoatom Press Center, Moscow, Russia.