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Javier Blas

Steel Is the Other Big Commodity Shock from the War in Ukraine

Europe needs to wake up to the nascent steel crisis. Price spikes and potential shortages could ripple across the global economy.

Steel works.

Steel works.

Photographer: Alexey Furman/Getty Images Europe

Joseph Stalin ordered the construction of the Iron & Steel Works in Mariupol in 1930 — one of his mega-projects to industrialize the Soviet Union. For a time, the complex was one of the world’s largest steel mills. Nearly a century later, another Russian leader with a Stalinist bent, Vladimir Putin, ordered its destruction.

The bombs falling on the blast furnaces of Mariupol, the Ukrainian city under Russian siege, are a symbol of how the war has turned the steel market upside down.