Ferrexpo expects its iron ore pellet production this year to exceed the 11.2mn mt produced in 2020 given the recent upgrades at its Ukraine iron ore projects.
The company’s iron ore pellet production tallied at 5.6mn mt in H1 2021 in line with its guidance but fell by 0.8pc to 2.8mn mt in Q2 2021 against the same year-ago quarter. Compared to the first quarter, however, iron ore pellet output grew by 5pc driven by the upgrade to the company’s third pellet line, which was completed at the end of June.
Ferrexpo’s commercial production increased by 2pc in both H1 2021 and Q2 2021 to 5.7mn mt and 2.9mn mt, respectively, on an annual basis. However, its sales fell by 9pc to 5.6mn mt in H1 2021 compared to the same year-ago period due to a stockpile drawdown process.
The company’s other three pellet lines continued operating throughout the upgrade, Ferrexpo noted in its production report. Additional upgrades are planned for the pelletizer system in Q3 2021, which will increase capacity by 0.5-1mn mt annually.
High-quality pellets of Fe 65pc and 67pc comprised 100pc of pellet output in Q2 2021. The company also produced 85,000mt of high-grade concentrate in the second quarter and continued investing in the concentrate stockyard venture. Concentrate production can be increased during periods of pelletizer maintenance.
In H1 2021, Ferroexpo signed its first long-term contract for DR pellet supplies with additional trial shipments to likely customers. DR pellets are made using direct reduction processes for low-carbon steel production with a Fe 67pc.