With increasing prices for its products offsetting softening sales volumes, Russian steel and metallurgical coal miner Severstal said its group revenue remained almost flat quarter-to-quarter at $2.173 billion (Q4 2017: $2.178 billion).

“Our financial performance in Q1 2018 was supported by a strong export pricing environment and Severstal’s flexible distribution channels, which enabled us to redirect higher volumes to export markets,” said Alexander Shevelev, CEO of Severstal Management. “In 2018, we continue to forecast global steel growth.”

Russian steel demand increased 5% in 2017 and is expected to be 2.6% higher in 2018, supported by GDP growth and gradual economic recovery. Shevelev said. Russia remains Severstal’s core market and the company has the flexibility to redistribute shipments quickly between domestic and export markets, he added.

The company said coking coal sales from Vorkutaugol declined 25% quarter-to-quarter. A longwall move at the Vorgashorskaya mine impacted production. Iron ore pellet sales decreased 28% and totaled 2.38 million metric tons (mt) compared to Q4 2017’s 3.3 million mt. Iron ore concentrate sales increased 14% quarter-to-quarter to 1.29 million mt (Q4 2017: 1.14 million mt) despite a seasonal slowdown in production at Olcon. The improvement of iron ore concentrate sales in Q1 2018 reflects the consolidation of the Yakovlevskiy mine and a stock sell-off at Olcon.