Ukraine has become the 10th largest pig iron maker in the world after its metal producers smelted 3.5 million tons of this type of iron in January and February, the Association of Ukrainian Metallurgical Enterprises reported on March 24.  

Pig iron is an intermediate iron product with a high carbon content. Ukraine provides 1.5% of the world’s pig iron supply. Globally, 40 countries produce this iron, which is used in steelmaking.

Over the first two months of 2021, China produced 40 times more pig iron than Ukraine — 145 million tons.

Even though the pandemic has severely hit the world’s steel industry, where demand is dictated by the automotive and aviation industries, China and Ukraine have only ramped up production by 6% and 4.5% respectively, compared to January-February 2020.


The rest of the top five iron producing countries — India, Japan, Russia and South Korea — produced 46.9 million tons, or 20% of the world’s supply. 

In 2020, Ukraine ranked 9th globally, producing 20.4 million tons of pig iron. Exporters sold 3.1 million tons, 20% more than in 2019, making $920 million, according to the State Customs Service.

(In 2007, Ukraine’s 15 metallurgical plants used to produce as much as 35.6 million tons of pig iron, according to the Economy Ministry.)

China, despite being the world’s largest pig iron maker, still had to import some from Ukraine. Nearly 60% of Ukrainian pig iron in 2020 was exported to the United States and 22% went to China.

Steelmakers across the world, including in Ukraine, benefit from China’s high demand. According to Ukrainian think tank GMK, in the first quarter of 2020, the country’s export of pig iron to China reached $60 million, while “there were no pig iron supplies to China” in 2019 whatsoever, the report said.

To suggest a correction or clarification, write to us here
You can also highlight the text and press Ctrl + Enter