According to Industrial Policy Minister Volodymyr Shandra, in about two years from now Ukrainian metallurgical companies will undergo the process of enlargement through mergers and takeovers. This process, he said, will be accompanied by growing prices for imported natural gas and the metallurgical industry's drive for modernizing its production facilities and applying energy-saving technologies.

As Volodymyr Shandra noted, applying energy-saving technologies allowed the Ukrainian metallurgical industry to reduce consumption of gas in 2006's first half by one billion cu. m., as compared with last year's January - June. In the Minister's opinion, the global metal market's glowingly favorable conjuncture and increasingly brisk demand for metal in Ukraine spell good hopes for Ukrainian metallurgical businesses.

According to the State Statistics Committee, in January - June 2006 Ukrainian metallurgical mills increased production of steel to 13.616 M. tons, which was an 0.2 percent increment versus 2005's first half. They increased manufacture of cast iron by 4.2 percent to 15.927 M. tons.

According to the Industrial Policy Ministry, steel is made by nineteen mills and steel pipes are made by nine works in Ukraine. Ukrainian metallurgical companies are largely controlled by investors. Metal products account for about 40 percent of Ukraine's total exports.

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