EVRAZ expects headwinds of the past quarter in steel production and sales volumes to continue in Q4 2020, due to persisting uncertainty in the energy markets. The steel producer also predicted a gradual economic recovery amid the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic that has left North American consumers guarded in their purchasing decisions.
The company projects pig iron output to increase in Q4 after the launch of blast furnace No. 6 (BF No. 6) at EVRAZ NTMK. The miner expects raw coal production to increase in Q4 from the prior quarter, as planned production and capacity levels return to normal following the removal of mine violations.
EVRAZ’s total crude steel production fell by 9pc in the first nine months of 2020 to 10.16mn mt from 10.36mn mt during the same period in 2019. Total crude steel production in Q3 2020 dropped by 4.4pc to 3.23mn mt, compared with 3.38mn mt produced in Q2.
The company attributed the decline to a planned stoppage of BF No. 5 and the start of BF No. 6 as part of major revamping projects at EVRAZ NTMK. Lower pig iron availability and depressed demand also contributed to the decline.
The steelmaker produced 8.31mn mt of pig iron in January-September 2020, up by 0.7pc from 8.25mn mt during the same prior-year period. Pig iron production in Q3 declined by 3.8pc to 2.69mn mt from 2.79mn mt produced in Q2.
The miner’s total raw coking coal production decreased by 27.4pc to 14.63mn mt in the first nine months of 2020 from 20.2mn mt in the corresponding 2019 timeframe. Total raw coking coal produced in Q3 rose by 14.6pc to 4.78mn mt from 4.17mn mt mined in Q2.
The company’s total steel product sales fell by 2.2pc in January-September 2020 to 9.67mn mt from 9.88mn mt in January-September 2019. Steel product sales in Q3 totaled 3.06mn mt, declining by 9.5pc from 3.38mn mt in Q2. Sales declined due to less production, demand, and crude steel availability.