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17 Jun 2020

Belarusian steel mill BMZ reports strong export figures

Belarusian steel mill BMZ reports strong export figures
Yuri Nazarov. An archive photo

ZHLOBIN, 17 June (BelTA) – The Belarusian steel mill BMZ exported over 80% of the metal products it made in January-May 2020. The figure was mentioned during a working trip of Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Nazarov to BMZ on 17 June, BelTA has learned.

Just like all manufacturers this year BMZ has encountered a number of difficulties caused by external factors. Yuri Nazarov noted: “The situation is complicated. The reasons are understandable to everyone: the traditional markets have shrunk. We’ve discussed metal cord, pipes, and rolled products. It is necessary to decide now how financial assistance can be provided to the company in order to make it feel more confident in these complicated times. We are working out solutions on how to reinvigorate the company.”

The BMZ press service explained that the quarantine measures implemented by the majority of countries, falling prices for oil, and the devaluation of the Russian ruble have resulted in falling prices for metal products and the falling volume of consumption of metal products. Products with a high profit margin are the ones affected most. Nevertheless, the steel mill continues operating without inflating the stock in storage. The company is confident about its ability to keep employees and the standing on the international market.

According to the latest data, in January-May 2020 BMZ smelted 1.077 million tonnes of steel. The steel was converted by BMZ divisions into various metal products (rolled products, hot-rolled pipes, metal cord, and various kinds of wire) and sold to consumers. More than 80% of the metal made so far this year was exported.

In January-April 2020 BMZ exported products to 48 countries. The focus of the shipments shifted a bit from Africa and the Middle East to the European market. Export to Austria, Spain, Poland, Romania, Finland, France, and Switzerland increased by more than 50% from January-April 2020 in physical terms and in monetary terms. Sales to the USA, Singapore, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, and Ukraine increased noticeably in comparison with the previous year.

The consumption of metal cord and seamless pipes went down in January-April. Meanwhile, BMZ increased the export of reinforcing bars by nearly 25% in monetary terms. The rebars were sold to Lithuania, Netherlands, Serbia, Israel, and Ukraine.

The Chinese market was also discussed during today’s meeting involving Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Nazarov. The official said: “The situation is more complicated in this direction. China is a major manufacturer of these products.” He said it is necessary to thoroughly evaluate the competitive ability of the Belarusian metal products, to evaluate whether they will be interesting on the Chinese market even considering logistics.

The deputy prime minister was made familiar with the operation of the steel smelting division, the pipe division, and the rolled products division of BMZ. On 17 June the deputy prime minister is also expected to visit the agricultural machinery manufacturer Gomselmash. A decision concerning Gomselmash has already been made and authorized by the head of state. It is being formalized into a regulatory document on restructuring the company’s debts, Yuri Nazarov explained.

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