EghtesadOnline: Iranian steel mills produced 6.369 million tons of crude steel in the first four months of 2017, registering a 14.3% growth year-on-year, the latest report released by World Steel Association said.
The report shows Iran’s crude steel output in April stood at 1.735 million tons, indicating a 15% growth compared to last year’s similar month and a 6.1% rise compared to March 2017.
Iran also produced 5.61 million tons of direct-reduced iron during the four months, up 10.2%, to remain the world’s largest producer of DRI.
The April output was up 9.8% to 1.565 million tons. This was about 315,000 tons more than its closest rival India, according to Financial Tribune.
DRI, also called sponge iron, is produced from the direct reduction of iron ore to iron by a reducing gas made from natural gas or coal. It is most commonly made into steel using electric arc furnaces. About 70-75% of Iranian mills use electric arc furnaces.
The world’s 67 steelmaking countries continued to post growth in output for April, while producing slightly less compared to the month before. Global crude steel production stood at 142.08 million tons in April, indicating a 5% increase. It dropped by 0.96% compared to March.
Overall, global steelmakers produced 550.84 million tons of crude steel during the four months, up 5.2%.
The crude steel capacity utilization ratio of the 67 countries in April 2017 was 73.6%, which is 2.5% higher than April 2016. Compared to March 2017, it is 1.7% higher.
The ratio is calculated based on crude steel production information available at WSA and OECD capacity estimates.
WSA members represent approximately 85% of the world's steel production, including over 160 steel producers with nine of the 10 largest steel companies, national and regional steel industry associations, and steel research institutes.
Many global steel producers continued their growing trend in April. China showed no sign of slowing down and produced 72.8 million tons during the month, registering a 4.9% increase.
Japan, Germany, the United States, Brazil, France, Spain and Turkey also recorded solid upticks. Only South Korea and Italy had drops in output among major producers.
The global steel industry has been driven by continuous robust demand growth in China, the world’s biggest consumer and producer. Demand reached a record high of about 67 million tons in April, as mills fired up their furnaces to feed higher prices, according to Bloomberg.
China remained the world’s largest producer during the first four months of 2017 with 273.87 million tons, followed by Japan with 34.98 million tons, India with 33.15 million tons, the United States with 27 million tons, Russia with 23.98 million tons, South Korea with 22.75 million tons, Germany with 14.81 million tons, Turkey with 11.8 million tons, Brazil with 11.14 million tons, Italy with 8.1 million tons, Taiwan with 7.35 million tons and Ukraine with 7.16 million tons.
Iran was the world’s 14th largest steelmaker placed between Mexico (13th) with a 6.7 million ton output and France (15tH) with 5.16 million tons.
Iran’s crude steel output stood at 17.89 million tons in 2016, according to WSA data.
The country aims to become the world’s sixth largest steel producer as per the 20-Year Vision Plan (2005-25), which envisions an annual production of 55 million tons of crude steel and 20-25 million tons of exports per year by the deadline.
Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said Iranian steel mills have so far materialized about 60% of the capacity target.