**UPDATE: Evraz Reports Mixed Production Results For 2014 As Prices Fall**
LONDON (Alliance News) – Evraz PLC Monday said production of steel and iron ore fell during 2014, whilst vanadium and coal production saw slight increases, as average prices for the year fell across the board.
For the year ended December 31, 2014, the company said consolidated crude steel production fell by 4% from 2013 whilst output of steel products dropped 5% during the year. Both decreases were mainly caused by the disposal of Evraz Vitkovice Steel in the Czech Republic and the shut-down of Evraz Claymont operations in the US at the end of 2013, as part of a restructuring plan.
Evraz’s finished steel product production dropped 4% in Russia and 11% in Ukraine due to higher export sales, driven by the depreciation of the Russian rouble in the second half of 2014, whilst production of semi-finished products increased by 6% in Russia and 11% in Ukraine.
“Despite the increased competition in the domestic market, production of construction products remained at 2013 levels supported by strong demand in the peak months of the construction season and by lower imports from Ukraine,” Evraz said.
Production of railway products was down 8% year-on-year in Russia as a result of lower orders for solid wheels and railcar sections from railcar producers and railcar repair shops. In North America, rail production rose by 9% after upgrading the rail mill, the company said.
Prices for steel products and their raw materials were hit during 2014 by the depreciation of currencies in Russia and Ukraine alongside “continuing headwinds in the global markets,” it said in a statement.
Per tonne, semi-finished product prices dropped to USD118 from USD160 in 2013, whilst pig iron prices fell to USD293 from USD301. Steel products all saw prices decrease over the course of 2014, apart from semi-finished products which saw a slight increase to USD410 from USD401.
The share of semi-finished products in the company’s shipments increased to 31% from 26% in 2013 as a result of a shift in sales from Russia to export destinations, driven partially by a weakening rouble.
Raw coking coal production grew by 11% during 2014 to 21.1 million tonnes from 18.9 million tonnes, driven by a 31% increase in output from the Raspadskaya coal company after completing an underground mine restoration programme, Evraz said.
Coking coal concentrate production rose 2% during the year.
Evraz said average prices for coking coal during the year fell to USD46 per tonne from USD58 per tonne, and coking coal concentrate dropped to USD70 per tonne from USD87.
Production of iron ore products in Russia dropped by 4% from 2013, as a result of the disposals and shut-downs of unprofitable iron ore assets in 2013, including Evraz VGOK. Production of lumpy ore in Ukraine fell 3% year on year due to lower quality ore.
Vanadium slag production was up 6% to 22.3 million tonnes from 21.1 million tonnes, due to higher vanadium slag grades in Russia, which rose by 5%, and in South Africa, where grades increased by 7%.
In 2014, production of oxides, vanadium aluminium and chemicals grew by 10% compared to 2013 due to higher oxide extraction yields and stable feedstock availability, the company said.
Average prices for oxides, vanadium aluminium and chemicals fell to USD31,725 per tonne from USD34,295 per tonne.
Evraz shares were down 1.5% to 150.20 pence per share on Monday morning.
By Joshua Warner; firstname.lastname@example.org; @JoshAlliance
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