The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically complicated the sale and supply of Ukrainian metal products to other markets – they were abruptly closed, said Enver Tskitishvili, general director of the Azovstal steel plant, in an interview with the Mariupol TV channel MTV.
“There was a sharp closure in the metallurgy market, all ties were cut off for an indefinite time. The first month we fell very much in production: out of the six blast furnaces available at the Azovstal plant, only two worked. We did not understand how much the production failure would be. and how long it will take “, – stated the top manager.
According to him, due to the difficult situation, the construction immediately stopped. All programs that could be suspended, in particular those related to business trips and movements, were also curtailed. Costs were minimized in order to stay in the market and maintain profitability.
“We understood that our markets in Southeast Asia (SEA)” died “completely – they cannot be revived. North Africa, which we bought from we have a fairly large amount of metal, practically in a week it “died.” The post-Soviet space, which was barely breathing, closed. Those enterprises that Metinvest has in Italy (EU) were stopped due to quarantine. And in Britain, the group there are enterprises that also worked a little and were stopped, “Tskitishvili said.
In addition, the market inside the country froze significantly. According to the top manager, only thanks to the efforts of the company’s management and labor collectives, the situation was maintained.
“Only now it has become known that Ukrzaliznytsia will order rails for repairs, Mostostroy will try to revive the construction of bridges in Kiev – this is also a big plus for us. But it is difficult to expect a rapid rise “, – the head of the enterprise believes.
At the same time, he noted that the main competitor in the market is China, which actively supplies metal products due to the proximity of the SEA market , produced at new efficient factories, since the old enterprises were closed there.
In turn, Azovstal pays increased attention to the quality of its products, meetings are held daily.
Concerning production, the head the enterprise noted that taking into account the intense competition, the plate shop mastered 6 new steel grades within 1-1.5 months, and earlier it would have taken 3-8 months. Because the buyer does not wait.
“We began to seriously work with Saudi Arabia, and this market has become one of our key customers. We have seriously entered the Turkish market – both we and the Ilyich plant did not lose our dignity. The Turks took our metal very carefully, came to us, watched how the quality system works, and were satisfied, “the interviewee stated.
The top manager also said that the approved program of equipment repairs is being implemented, no transfers of major There were no repairs.
Answering the question why the group did not take advantage of the tax holidays provided by the state to businesses because of the pandemic, Tskitishvili recalled that both Metinvest and SCM are socially responsible companies.
“We are responsible for the fate and health of people (…) Markets collapsed, orders – 25% of the possible, so it will be hard and we will save on ourselves. But we will not allow taxes (to budgets – IF ) not acting li “, – explained the CEO.
Metinvest is an international vertically integrated mining and metallurgical group of companies that manages every link in the production value chain – from the extraction of iron ore raw materials to the production of finished metal products. The structure of the group includes mining and metallurgical enterprises in Ukraine, Europe and the USA, as well as a sales network covering all key world markets.
Metinvest is the largest mining and metallurgical holding in Ukraine. The enterprises of the group are located mainly in Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporozhye and Dnepropetrovsk regions.
Azovstal is part of the Metinvest group, the main shareholders of which are SCM group (71.24%) and Smart- holding “(23.76%), jointly managing the company.
Metinvest Holding LLC is the managing company of Metinvest Group.