Severstal on Tuesday kicked off the reporting season for Russian steel makers with a bit of a whimper, posting its worst quarterly results for more than three years.

The metals and mining group controlled by billionaire Russian tycoon Alexey Mordashov suffered a net loss of $150m in Oct-Dec 2012, as falling steel demand and prices weighed on the sector. Read more

At a tough time for global steel markets, Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) has established itself as Russia’s largest steel producer after bringing on stream the country’s first new blast furnace since Soviet times.

But, with steel prices weak, the extra output isn’t generating as much cash as NLMK might have hoped. The group warned of an 8 per cent drop in fourth quarter revenues and a flat Q1 2013. Read more

MMK, Russia’s third largest steel producer, on Friday joined rivals Severstal and NLMK in pinning a gloomy forecast to its third quarter results as the falling price of steel undermines business. Read more

Evraz, Russia’s largest steelmaker, on Thursday reported a $50m net loss for the six months to the end of June and a 28 per cent decline in ebitda to $1.2bn on a 9.1 per cent drop in revenues to $7.6bn.

With the global steel market in the doldrums, the results came as little surprise, especially after rivals NLMK and Severstal reported their numbers in the last few days. But all three Russian producers are benefiting from reasonably strong infrastructure spending in Russia, not least on the railways. While life is tough, it’s much tougher elsewhere in Europe. Read more

The Russian government is said to be studying plans to launch a metals exchange in Russia following price rows between steel producers and machine and auto makers over steel last month.

Vedomosti newspaper reported the plans this week, saying Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has thrown his weight behind the project. The current proposal calls for trade in a range of metal products as well as coal, coking coal and iron ore. Read more