Russian steelmaker Severstal’s operational results for Q3 & 9M 2018 show that hot metal output increased 2% in Q3 2018 to 2.30Mt, up from Q2’s 2.26Mt, following short-term maintenance works at blast furnaces four and five.

Crude steel production increased 2% to 3.06Mt, but consolidated steel product sales declined 5% to 2.71Mt compared with Q2 figures of 2.84Mt. The decline, said Severstal, was due to short-term maintenance works at the company’s rolling-mill facilities. The share of domestic sales remained high at 65%, up 1% on Q2.

The share of high value-added (HVA) products within Severstal’s sales portfolio increased two percentage points to 48%, up from Q2’s 46% and driven by an increased sales of colour-coated and large diameter pipe (LDP) products. Sales of semi-finished and hot-rolled coil (HRC) were reduced.

Coking coal concentrate sales volumes from Vorkutaugol grew 27%, driven by higher production volumes of “2ZH”, “GZHO” and “Concentrate K” grades following the long-wall repositionings in Q2 at mines in Komsomolskaya and Vorkutinskaya.

Iron ore pellet sales decreased 18% to 2.55Mt while iron ore concentrate sales increased to 1.42Mt (from 1.36Mt in Q2) driven by production growth at mines in Olcon and Yakovlevskiy.

Figures for the first nine months of 2018 (9M 2018) highlight an increase in hot metal output of 1% due to few maintenance issues when compared to 9M 2017 and declining blast furnace idle time.

Crude steel production increased by 5% to 9.10Mt, driven by production efficiency improvements following the launch of ladle furnace number two in July 2017 and higher production volumes from the company’s Balakovo mini-mill. Severstal is continuing with a variety of efficiency programmes aimed at decreasing raw material consumption ratios in the steel production process.

Over the 9M 2018 period consolidated steel products sales reached 8.42Mt, up from last year’s 8.14Mt, while average selling prices for the majority of steel products grew substantially, reflecting sales growth of semi-finished products when compared with the previous year.

According to Severstal, average selling prices for the majority of steel products grew between 6%-20% for 9M 2018, reflecting global trends as well as sales and marketing initiatives run by steelmaker.

Higher year-on-year iron ore concentrate sales for 9M 2018 partially reflect the consolidation of the Yakovlevskiy mine, Severstal concluded.