Ukrainian window molders will face a significant shortage of glass this year. This is due to the fact that a significant share of raw materials is imported from Belarus and Turkey.
This was reported by Forbes Ukraine.
It is noted that today Ukrainian window molders are operating at 60-70% of their capacity, because the market is faced with a shortage of workers and weak demand. At the same time, the construction market is recovering gradually, and so far there is no great need for glass. According to the State Statistics Service, in 2022, construction companies of Ukraine reduced the amount of work performed by 56% compared to 2021 – to UAH 113.83 billion.
The industry is also preparing for a shortage of the main raw material – glass. The fact is that double-glazed windows require high-quality thermally polished glass, which is made by casting in a bath of molten cast iron. It was produced in Ukraine only by the Lysychansk plant "Proletary", which in 2014 was hit by an airstrike, and in 2015 it stopped working due to large debts for gas.
As a result, all glass for metal-plastic windows is currently imported. Before the full-scale invasion, the glass market was about 28 million square meters per year, which is UAH 4 billion. More than 75% of such glass was imported from Russia and Belarus. Despite the halving of the market, glass prices have increased by 80%.
In addition, the structure of importing countries has changed. In the first seven months of 2023, Ukraine imported about 5.65 million square meters. m of float glass. Almost 68% are from Poland, another 7% are from Turkey and the Czech Republic.
But if we take into account the origin of the glass (and not the importing country), then at least a third of the raw materials come from Belarus, says Kessler. According to him, 56% of the total volume is occupied by Gomelsklo (Belarus) and Şişecam (Turkey).
At the same time, there is no ban on the import of products from Belarus. Last year, more than $759,20 worth of cast and rolled glass was imported to Ukraine, according to data from the State Customs. Belarus provided almost a third of imports, another 15% came from Poland, and <>% from Mexico. This year, Belarus disappeared from the list of direct importers of glass, while Poland's share increased.
Recently, it has become more difficult to import glass into the Ukraine due to the blockade of Ukraine's maritime logistics. In two to three weeks, a shortage of glass is expected for a month or a month and a half. Stekloplast bought almost all raw materials from the Turkish Şişecam and imported them through the Danube ports. In recent weeks, Russia has been shelling the port infrastructure of the Danube.
On September 7, the National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NACP) added Şişecam Group to the list of international sponsors of the war. And it is not yet clear how exactly this decision will affect the supply of glass to Ukraine. But if Turkish and Belarusian glass is not supplied, European suppliers will not be able to immediately compensate us for this part of the market, Kessler explains.
In-house glass production can be an effective solution. It requires quartz sand, soda, dolomite, limestone, and gas. We have these materials in sufficient quantities.
Earlier it became known that in the capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, the collection of window glass for Ukraine was announced. It will be brought to Borodianka and other cities and villages that have suffered the most from the Russian invasion.