- A report by the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade indicates that $154 million worth of flat-rolled non-alloy steel and iron products were exported in the first two months of the current Iranian year (March 21-May 21, 2015), up 13% compared with the similar period of the previous year.
The products accounted for 2.9% of non-oil exports during the period. Meanwhile, the base price of flat-rolled non-alloy steel declined by 0.3% from the similar period of last year to $733 per ton.
The value of flat-rolled non-alloy steel and iron products exported last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2015) stood at $903 million, IRNA reported.
While the ministry’s report indicates production of 2.84 million tons of crude steel and 2.79 million tons of steel products during the first two months of the current Iranian year, private sector steelmakers accounted for 342,300 tons of crude steel and 893,200 tons of steel products manufactured during the period, the Iranian Steel Producers Association announced.
Based on ISPA’s report, reinforcing bars accounted for 57% of steel produced by the private sector, followed by steel sheets (24.8%), steel sections, including angles, channels, T-sections and rods (10%) and I-beams (8%), Foolad News reported.
Domestic steel manufacturers (including both private and government sectors) produced about 16.6 million tons of crude steel and 16.9 million tons of steel products last year, indicating 7% and 2% growth respectively compared with the preceding year. They also managed to export more than 2 million tons of steel products during the period. The figure is expected to double this year.
Being the 14th global producer of crude steel and the largest in the Middle East, Iran plans to produce 18 million tons of crude steel and 19 million tons of steel products this year. This is while domestic manufacturers are struggling with a multitude of problems, the most serious one being irregular imports of steel products.
The global decline in steel prices has encouraged traders to increase imports. Even the imposition of a 15% import tariff has not been able to curb excessive imports. Domestic manufacturers have repeatedly warned that if the current situation persists, it will lead to closure of many steel mills.
Steelmakers argue that as domestic production currently exceeds the 16-million-ton annual demand for steel products, there is no need for excessive imports.
The reduction in global steel prices is the result of decline in the cost of iron ore and energy, said ISPA chairman, Bahram Sobhani. “This is while both fuel and iron ore have undergone price hikes in Iran,” he added, warning that domestic manufacturers are unable to compete with foreign steelmakers under current circumstances.