7th World Antimony Forum

June 13-14, 2019
Changsha, Hunan, China

7th Refractory & Abrasive Materials Summit 2019

May 23-24, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

10th Aluminum Raw Materials Summit

May 16-17, 2019
Zhengzhou, Henan, China

11th Rare Earth Summit

May 9-10, 2019
Qingdao, Shandong, China

8th Magnesium Summit

April 11-12, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

12th World InBiGeGa Forum

March 14-15, 2019
Zhuhai, Guangdong, China

6th World Manganese & Selenium Forum

May 21-22, 2018
Hainan Sanya, China

6th World Antimony Forum

April 23-24, 2018
Zhangjiajie, China

6th International Refractories & Abrasives Summit

April 19-20, 2018
Beijing, China
Commitment to supplying high-quality metal products and expanding diversified sale channels
----Interview with Marina Karapetyan, chief commercial officer of WinMax-Group
WinMax-Group, located in Kiev, is one of major metal traders in Ukraine. The company trades a wide range of metal products, such as ferroalloys, base metals and so on, and has a good relationship with companies in China, India, Egypt, Russia, Brazil, etc.

Asian Metal: Ms. Marina, thank you for accepting the interview of Asian Metal. Could you please give us a brief introduction about your company?

Marina: The WinMax-Group has traded metal products for several years and enjoyed a good reputation in the industry. We are not only engaged in domestic trade, but also committed to the global market with high quality metal products. Now we have established good relationships with many metallurgy and foundry enterprises in China, India, Egypt, Russia, Brazil, European Union and other countries. Our goal is to try our best to meet every customer's needs and establish long-term stable relations for mutual benefits.

Asian Metal: Thank you for the introduction. What metal products does your company mainly trade currently?

Marina: We are focused on supplying metal raw materials, such as ferroalloys (ferromanganese, ferrochrome, silicomanganese, ferromolybdenum and so on), base metals (nickel cathode, copper cathode, aluminum ingot and alloy, zinc ingot) and raw materials for defense industry (titanium bar, aluminum bar, etc).

Asian Metal: As far as we know, the international metal market has been inactive since last year. How about the Ukrainian metal market?

Marina: Ukraine is one of major suppliers in the world in the fields of machinery, metallurgy, casting and ferroalloy products. But since 2014 year affected by the political conflict and unstable political situation, most enterprises, especially those in southern and eastern regions, reduced their production or even closed their plants, resulting in a sharp decline in demand - for metal products, which is a big challenge for traders.

Asian Metal: That's true. Asian Metal also cooperates with many metal companies in Ukraine. Most clients indicated that demand for metal products has been soft in Ukraine since 2014 and most end users only make hand-to-mouth purchases. Supported by long-term contracts, major producers witness relatively stable transaction volumes. However, most traders’ trading volume has decreased sharply, especially those who only make deals in the domestic market. Some companies’ trading volume dropped by over 50%. How about your company’s transaction in recent two years?

Marina: Domestic demand for metal products is really sluggish, but I think that the challenge is also a chance for us. Take ferroalloys as an example-, we sold 2,740t of ferroalloys in total in 2015, but have sold 3,580t so far this year, an increase of about 31%. According to current orders, we may sell around 3,800t in total this year. It is worth noting that silicomanganese, ferrochrome, ferromolybdenum and ferrovanadium sell well this year. What’s more, prices for ferrochrome and silicomanganese increased sharply over the past few months and we have signed contracts for December about those materials.

Asian Metal: As far as I know, suppliers from Russian, Georgian and Kazakhstani have generally raised their quotations in December. Export prices for silicomanganese 65/17 have increased sharply to USD1,100-1,200/t this week with some suppliers quoting as high as USD1,250/t. How do you think about the silicomanganese price in the near future?

Marina: I think that silicomanganese prices went up mainly due to the rising prices of raw materials. Meanwhile, we have witnessed a rise in demand as most clients make replenishment at the end of the year in order to guarantee normal production during the New Year’s holiday. Therefore, I think the price will be firm at high levels in December. We mainly cooperate with Indian, European and Ukrainian suppliers and can ensure supply and quality.

Asian Metal: What are main challenges for your company in your opinion? And what are your company's competitive advantages?

Marina: As I mentioned above, the major challenge for us is the unstable and complex political situation in the domestic market and the fierce competition in the international market.
We have good supply channels and advanced technical personal who monitor the quality of different metal products. What’s more, we have worked with warehousing and logistics companies for many years to reduce our costs and ensure shipments on time.

Asian Metal: Currently, most trade companies are facing problems in sales in Ukraine, do you have some good advice to share with us?

Marina: Under current situation, I think trade companies should maintain good relationships with regular clients and broaden sales channels at the same time. What’s more, they should adjust their main products according to market demand and certainly play attention to product quality and reputation.
Based on regular metal products, we also start trading some new materials, for example, materials used in renewable energy and energy conservation fields.

Asian Metal: Thank you again for your support for Asian Metal and wish you every success in your business.

Marina: Thanks.