By Vladimir Lisin, Chairman, NLMK

In the first few weeks of 2014 it has become clear that the global economy is entering a new phase of uncertainty. Emerging markets have come under renewed scrutiny, leading to volatile movements in currencies and stock markets, reflecting concerns among investors about the impact of the Federal Reserve’s “taper” programme and financial stability in China.

These issues come at a time when the underlying trends suggest that China has passed the point of its fastest growth. Those metals and mining companies who budgeted for years of accelerating consumption to come have already been caught out by the new realities and the pressures on them can only intensify in 2014 driven by the increased funding costs. Read more

The cash-strapped Indian government’s plans to sell a chunk of the Steel Authority of India (SAIL) in the next few weeks as part of a fund-raising disposal of state-owned assets is running into headwinds.

The country’s biggest steelmaker, where New Delhi holds an 86-per-cent stake, on Tuesday posted disappointing quarterly results, increasing expectations that the government will have to offer the shares at a chunky discount – or delay the offering. 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

The Indian government has introduced a 20 per cent import tax on certain varieties of stainless steel from China, in a move to protect local industry.

The safeguard duty will be in place for 200 days and applies to “Hot Rolled Flat Products of Stainless Steel-304 ” and all grades containing Chromium or with a Nickel content over 6 per cent. 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

The sun is rising over Ukraine’s once-grey metallurgical industry, literally and figuratively speaking.

Ukrainian billionaire Viktor Pinchuk has formally launched operation of the first new steel mill built in Ukraine in 40 years.

With a $700m price tag, the Dnipropetrovsk electric arc steel mill is largest greenfield investment in Ukraine since independence in 1991. Read more