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Magnitogorsk's Q3'19 steel output stutters YOY as subdued Q4 looms

PJSC Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works' third-quarter production of pig iron, crude steel and finished products declined across the board as the company warned that performance in the fourth quarter would suffer from seasonally weak business activity and a significant correction in global prices.

Russia's third-largest steelmaker reported a 2.3% yearly fall in output of pig iron to 2.56 million tonnes, while crude steel dropped 5.4% to 3.19 Mt. Finished products fared worse, slumping 7.3% to 2.79 Mt, according to an Oct 15 trading update. Compared to the second quarter, production was up in the low-single-digit percentages.

Magnitogorsk attributed the growth in pig iron output to the overhaul of a blast furnace and higher productivity.

Shipments within Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States rose 4% quarter over quarter to 2.54 Mt, while exports contracted almost 14% to 246,000 tonnes. For the first nine months of 2019, exports plunged 53% on a yearly basis to 821,000 tonnes.

The company's average price per tonne was down 1.5% quarter over quarter at US$616, with long products leading the decrease by 3.2% to US$493/t.

Magnitogorsk said the anticipated weakness in the final quarter of 2019 would be partially offset by higher operational efficiency and high capacity utilization of high-margin production units.