Mechel cuts coking coal output

RUSSIAN mining giant Mechel has increased its steam coal production and cut its coking coal output for the first nine months of this year in response to a slowdown in the coking coal market.

Angie Tomlinson

“The negative trends we witnessed in major mining and steel markets in the second quarter continued to affect our nine-month production. The slowdown in the coking coal market, caused by a decrease in the output of a number of Russian coal consumers, prompted our shift to increasing steam coal production,” Mechel chief Vladimir Iorich said.

“In the steel segment, we maintained our rolled product output by optimising usage ratios, while reducing raw steel, pig iron, and coke output.”

Iorich said Mechel would strive to continue to further improve usage ratios by putting our new continuous casting facilities into operation.

“…we see positive market trends starting in September, as mining and steel products output has begun to pick up, and expect to fully restore production levels across both segments in response to growing demand,” he said.

For the first nine months of calendar year 2005, Mechel produced 6.47 million tonnes, down 5% on 2004 figures. Steam coal production was up 11% to 5.2Mt.