EghtesadOnline: Major Iranian steelmakers exported 4.56 million tons of semi-finished and finished steel products during the first eight months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Nov. 21), registering a 27% growth compared with last year’s corresponding period, the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization reported.
The export volume for Aban, the eighth month of the Iranian year (Oct. 23-Nov. 21), stood at 584,847 tons, up 57% year-on-year.
Iranian steelmakers’ shipments were continuously on the rise month-on-month save for Mehr and Ordibehesht, the seventh and the second month of the Iranian year respectively.
The IMIDRO data, released this week, are included in a preliminary report on large-scale exports. A more comprehensive and detailed version, including smaller private mills’ performance, often follows in about two weeks' time by the Iranian Steel Producers Association, according to Financial Tribune.
> KSC Tops the Charts
Khouzestan Steel Company zoomed past all rivals in the period under review, as it exported 1.73 million tons of slab, bloom and billet, up 57% YOY.
KSC has sustained a double-digit growth each month so far this year.
Bloom exports had the lion’s share of KSC's shipments with 829,168 tons and went up 165% YOY. Billet exports came next with 474,258 tons up 11%, followed by slabs with 431,957 tons, growing 18% YOY.
Aban witnessed KSC’s exports jumping by 88% to reach 168,587 tons, a significant rise compared to the steelmaker’s lackluster performance a month before.
The steelmaker, located in the southwestern Khuzestan Province, exports to 13 countries. About half of the exports goes to the Middle East and North Africa region. Other major export destinations are located in the Far East and Americas.
> ESCO Boosts Coil Exports
Esfahan Steel Company was the second biggest exporter during the eight months, with 742,375 tons of beam, rebar, coils and other products shipped overseas, up 83% YOY.
Rebar made up 103,717 tons of ESCO’s overall exports, dropping 3% YOY. It was followed by beam and coil with 72,195 tons and 39,963 tons respectively. Beam shipments were down 30% YOY, while coil exports surged 996%. Steel products listed as "other" made up 526,500 tons of all the exports, up 177% YOY.
Aban shipments grew 69% to 58,816 tons. Beam and rebar shipments were down, while coil exports recorded a 454% YOY upsurge to 2,800 tons.
> HOSCO Keeps Lead Over MSC
Hormozgan Steel Company retained its spot as the third largest exporter by shipping 777,897 tons of slabs, up 5% YOY. The steelmaker’s exports in the eighth month rose by 8% YOY to 152,738 tons.
As a subsidiary of Iran’s largest steelmaker Mobarakeh Steel Company, HOSCO has outperformed its parent company in exports for five months in a row so far this year.
Mobarakeh took the fourth spot as it exported a total of 727,381 tons of hot and cold-rolled, acid-washed, tin-plated, coated, checkered and galvanized flat steel during the eight months, down 41% YOY.
MSC's Aban shipments grew 50% to 139,143 tons.
Together with its subsidiaries, MSC is the largest flat producer in the Middle East and North Africa region, accounting for 1% of Iran’s GDP.
> Other Producers
South Kaveh Steel Company came next, as its billet exports stood at 458,000 tons. Its Aban shipments stood at 50,000 tons.
Khorasan Steel Company was next with 61,542 tons of rebars exported, up 20% YOY. Its exports during the eighth month dropped 51% to 5,543 tons.
Iran Alloy Steel Company took the next rank with 54,553 tons of rebar shipments, up 85% YOY. Its exports during Aban grew 268% to 4,971 tons.
Khouzestan Oxin Steel Company was next with 4,187 tons of plates, down 72% YOY. It exported 49 tons in the eighth month, down 96% YOY.
As part of the 20-Year Vision Plan (2005-25), the Iranian steel industry aims to become the world’s sixth largest steelmaker by reaching an output capacity of 55 million tons per year by the deadline (2025).
Exports are expected to reach 8 million tons in the current fiscal year, which ends on March 20, 2018.
Steel Billet Seen as Major Export in 2025 Vision Plan
Steel billet is expected to be the major export item in Iran’s 2025 Vision plan, Metal Bulletin learnt during its 21st Middle East Iron & Steel Conference in Dubai, the UAE, this week.
In the 2025 Vision plan, Iran is targeting an increase in its crude steel production capacity to 55 million tons per year from the current 32 million tons per year. Of this volume, around 20 million tons pertain to export.
However, Bahram Sobhani, managing director of Mobarakeh Steel Company, the country’s largest flat steel producer, said in his presentation at the conference that, in a realistic scenario and with a capacity utilization of around 80%, the export figure would be 10-12 million tons per year. Billet would be expected to comprise a major part of this volume.
“There will not be much slab allocation by , since Mobarakeh Steel is planning to expand its flat steel rolling capacities,” he said in a later interview with Metal Bulletin.
Sobhani was referring to the company’s plans to install a 3-million-ton per year hot-rolling mill at its main plant at Isfahan within three years, and another hot-rolling mill with similar capacity at its subsidiary, Hormozgan Steel Company.
Asked about the possible destinations for additional exported volumes of Iranian billet, Bahador Ahramian, managing director of Yazd Rolling Mill, said the competitive production costs of Iranian producers, owing to the availability of natural resources such as iron ore and gas, mean that Iranian billet can be competitive in any market.
Currently, the largest share of Iranian billet is traded to Southeast Asia and the Middle East-North Africa region.
In the first half of the current Iranian year (March 21-Sept. 22, 2017), the country exported 3.2 million tons of semi-finished steel products, up by 77% year-on-year from 1.8 million tons.
This growth was mainly attributed to higher slab shipment volumes, which reached 1.6 million tons over the period, having almost tripled year-on-year.
Exports of steel billet and bloom rose by 25% year-on-year, totaling 1.6 million tons in March-September.
To effectively capture this shift in market dynamics, Metal Bulletin is proposing the launch of a weekly assessment for the Iranian billet export market, starting from Jan. 10, 2018.