International Steel Mills

Russia & Ukraine Steel Exports to USA

Written by John Packard

Russia and the Ukraine are major steel producers and exporters of steel to the rest of the world. Under the current political upheaval associated with these two countries, Steel Market Update thought it might be interesting for our readers to understand what steel products are being imported from the two countries into the United States.


The cold war with Russia ended many years ago, so the recent events in the Ukraine have raised memories of more difficult times between the United States and Russia. The Baby Boomer generation can remember being in elementary school and worrying about whether their home was going to hit by a Russian nuclear warhead. Boomers had monthly air raid drills and during the Cuban Missile Crisis the drills were daily. Nuclear threats and the Cold War were a way of life. There certainly were no thoughts of importing steel from Russia or the Ukraine (which was part of the Soviet Union at that time).

We jump ahead five decades and what was once considered impossible has became a reality. Russian companies own U.S. steel mills: Severstal NA, NLMK USA and Evraz all have Russian owners. Besides steel being made on domestic soil we also see Russia as a major exporter of steel to the United States. Over the past year alone Russia shipped almost 2 million net tons of steel to the U.S. Based on January and projected February totals, Russia is on pace to more than double their penetration into the U.S. market.


The Ukraine, once part of the Soviet Union, is also a steel supplier to the United States but nowhere near the size and scope of Russia. The Ukraine exported 130,536 tons (all products) to the U.S. during 2013. Based on the first two months of imports the Ukraine is projected to actually ship fewer tons here than last year (92,196 tons). As you can see by the table below pipe and tube are the products preferred by Ukraine suppliers.

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