EghtesadOnline: Semi-finished casting products had the largest share in Iran’s steel exports in the last Iranian year (March 2016-17).
These products are intermediate castings produced in a foundry, which need further processing before producing ingots, blooms, billets and slabs.
Iranian steelmakers exported over 3.74 million tons of semis and 1.79 million tons of steel products during this period, registering a 108% and 16% growth respectively compared to the preceding year, the Iranian Steel Producers Association reported.
Billet and bloom had the lion’s share of all exports with an aggregate of over 2.16 million tons shipped overseas during the period, up 27%. Their production rose 11% to reach 9.49 million tons last year, Financial Tribune reported.
Slab exports came next with 1.57 million tons, recording the highest growth of 1,693% among all exports. Slab output was up 10% to hit 8.96 million tons.
As for finished steel products, hot-rolled coil with more than 3 mm thickness dominated exports with 1.069 million tons shipped overseas, down 30%. Exports of higher than 3 mm HRC were considerably lower at 100 tons, down 89%.
Rebar followed with 289,000 tons of shipments, down 4%. Production stood at 6.73 million tons, up 8%.
About 210,000 tons of beams were exported, showing a 21% growth. Production was down 12% to 984,000 tons.
Cold-rolled coils exports were up 91% and stood at 153,000 tons, as production grew 9% to 1.91 million tons.
Exports and production of coated steel coil were at 28,000 tons and 1.1 million tons, up 8% and 20% respectively.
Exports across the entire spectrum of steel products saw a decline with the exception of billets and bloom, and slab, which experienced growth rates of 43% and 200% respectively.
Thailand, the UAE and Taiwan were the main customers of Iranian steel, making up 16%, 12% and 11% of 5.53 million tons respectively of Iran’s total exports, according to Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization.
Italy with 9%, Oman with 7%, China with 7%, Iraq with 6%, Afghanistan with 5%, Jordan with 3%, Turkey with 3%, Egypt with 3%, Brazil with 3%, Spain with 2%, Morocco with 2% and Turkmenistan with 2% followed.
On the import front, finished steel products had the lion’s share of all steel imports last year. Imports of semis and steel products stood at 187,000 tons and 2.91 million tons, indicating a 44% rise and a 31% drop respectively.
Less than 3 mm-thick HRC was the main imported product with 1.28 million tons, down 36%.
Following were CRC with 617,000 tons, more than 3 mm-thick HRC with 366,000 tons, coated coils with 350,000 tons, billets and blooms with 184,000 tons, rebars with 130,000 tons, other steel products with 118,000 tons, beams with 46,000 tons and slabs with 3,000 tons.
According to ISPA, Iran’s apparent steel usage (defined as production plus imports minus exports, sometimes also adjusted for changes in inventories) stood at 34.18 million tons last year, down 0.7%. The aggregate figure includes 14.91 million tons of semis and 19.27 million tons of finished products.
HRC had the highest apparent usage with 7.57 million tons, followed by billets and blooms with 7.51 million tons, slabs with 7.39 million tons, rebars with 6.57 million tons, CRC with 2.38 million tons, coated coils with 1.42 million tons, beams with 820,000 tons and “other steel products” with 502,000 tons.
The World Steel Association forecasted in its latest report that Iranian steel demand for finished steel products will increase by 4.9% to 20.04 million tons in 2017 and by 6% in 2018 to 21.255 million tons.
The association puts Iran’s per capita steel consumption at 247.7 kilograms in 2017 and 259.8 in 2018.
Iran plans to become the world’s sixth largest steelmaker as per the 20-Year Vision Plan (2005-25). The plan envisions the production of 55 million tons of crude steel and 20-25 million tons of exports per year by the deadline.
Iranian mills have so far materialized 31 million tons of the target.