MMK explores steel market trends
Denis Chernenko, Head of MMK's Marketing Department, spoke at the international Russian Metals Market Conference in Moscow, where he described how MMK assesses the current situation on the Russian steel market, as well as MMK Group's key sales projects.
In 2021, the global market and the Russian economy are showing growth against last year’s decline in business activity, due to restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result, the consumption of metal products is growing. According to Denis Chernenko, Head of Marketing at MMK, the increase in consumption is observed in almost all steel-consuming industries, although the dynamics are uneven in different market segments. In addition to the overall recovery in demand amid economic recovery, the growth in consumption of steel products is significantly supported by the implementation of government infrastructure development and housing construction programmes, as well as the effect of deferred demand in the mechanical engineering and automotive industries. At the same time, there is still potential for further growth in metal consumption in 2022.
In the first nine months of 2021, MMK significantly increased the volume of product shipments: the total volume for this period amounted to just over 9 million tonnes of rolled steel (+24% compared to the same period in 2020). MMK traditionally maintains a high share of shipments to the domestic market (about 70%) and a high share of high value-added products (over 30%). Significant growth became possible due to the commissioning of Mill 2500 and favourable market conditions.
MMK's future growth in HVA products sales will be ensured by the launch in May of reversing cold-rolling mill 1700 following its repair and reconstruction. The renovated mill will make it possible to supply galvanizing units at MMK with high-quality rolled products, as well as to ship to MMK-LMZ (Lysva Metallurgical Plant, in the Perm region) cold-rolled annealed products with minimum thickness variation and the required surface finish. This will allow the Group to further improve the quality of galvanized and coated steel products.
An important step in the development of MMK Group sales was the launch of the official corporate marketplace in April 2021. This project, implemented as part of the strategic digitalization initiative, made it possible to create a unified digital sales channel where MMK customers can buy the Group's products in the required volume online, using a convenient and intuitive interface. MMK plans to develop the marketplace both to expand its product range and to further improve the simplicity and speed of order placement bringing the Company even closer to customers.