EghtesadOnline: Iranian steelmakers exported 7.41 million tons of their products in the first 11 months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Feb. 19), registering a 52.2% year-on-year growth, the Iranian Steel Producers Association announced.
Semi-finished steel made up 6.04 million tons of the total exports, up 87% YOY.
Billet and bloom had the lion’s share of semis exports, standing at an aggregate of 3.35 million tons to mark a 77% growth YOY. Slab followed with 2.69 million tons, up 102% YOY.
Exports of finished steel products during the period shrank by 17% YOY to 1.37 million tons, according to Financial Tribune.
About 510,000 tons of thicker than 3-mm hot-rolled coil were the main finished steel product exported, marking a 50% decline YOY. Less than 3-mm thick HRC shipments surged 7,400% YOY to reach 75,000 tons.
Following HRC were rebar with 491,000 tons, up 109.8% YOY; beams with 151,000 tons, down 15% YOY; “other steel products” with 74,000 tons, up 100% YOY; coated coil with 57,000 tons, up 119% YOY; and cold-rolled coil with 17,000 tons, down 88% YOY.
Exports of direct-reduced iron surged 272% YOY to 639,000 tons.
Iran is targeting the export of 8 million tons of steel by the end of this year, 9.5 million tons in the fiscal 2018-19 and 14 million tons in the fiscal 2020-21.
The ISPA report also shows imports of most steel products declined during the period under review. Semis imports shrank 75% YOY to 47,000 tons. Billet and bloom imports dropped 86% YOY to 25,000 tons. Slab imports, however, surged 633% YOY to 22,000 tons.
Imports of finished steel dropped 21% YOY to 2.07 million tons. The imports mostly included less than 3-mm thick HRC with 665,000 tons, down 44% YOY; followed by cold-rolled coil with 643,000 tons, up 16% YOY; coated coil with 370,000 tons, up 21% YOY; thicker than 3-mm HRC with 209,000 tons, down 33% YOY; “other steel products” with 76,000 tons, down 28% YOY; rebar with 73,000 tons, down 51% YOY; and beam with 34,000 tons, down 11% YOY.
Iranian steelmakers produced a total of 38.12 million tons of products during the 11-month period to register a 14% growth compared with last year’s corresponding period.
Semi-finished steel made up 20 million tons of the total output, up 19% YOY.
'Billet and bloom' output stood at 10.6 million tons while that of slab reached 9.36 million tons, recording a 22% and 15% YOY growth respectively.
As for finished steel, the output increased 9% YOY to reach 18.11 million tons.
Finished steel production has followed a rising trend this year for all products, except for rebar.
Hot-rolled coil had the lion’s share of finished steel production with 7.06 million tons, up 11% YOY; followed by rebar with 5.71 million tons, down 7% YOY; cold-rolled coil with 2.1 million tons, up 23% YOY; coated coil with 1.39 million tons, up 40% YOY; beams with 10.1 million tons, up 8% YOY; and “other steel products” with 788,000 tons, up 115% YOY.
Iran’s direct-reduced iron production is also registering a healthy growth. It stood at 20.4 million tons during the 11-month period, indicating a 24% rise YOY.
"The Iranian steel industry plans to increase its crude steelmaking capacity to 55 million tons by 2025 and become the world’s sixth largest steelmaker. About 30 million tons of the target capacity has been realized so far," Industries, Mining and Trade Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari said.
Iran’s apparent steel usage for both semi-finished and finished steel recorded a meager growth during the 11-month period.
The country consumed 18.8 million tons of finished steel during the period, up 7% YOY.
Hot-rolled coil had the lion’s share of finished steel consumption, as it reached 7.35 million tons, up 7% YOY. It was followed by rebar with 5.29 million tons, down 12% YOY; cold-rolled coil with 2.76 million tons, up 29% YOY; coated coil with 1.7 million tons, up 34% YOY; beams with 896,000 tons, down 12%; and “other steel products” with 790,000 tons, up 82% YOY.
Semi-finished steel usage grew 2% compared to last year's corresponding period to reach 14.02 million tons.
Usage of billet and bloom grew 4% to hit 7.32 million tons, while that of slab was down 1% to 6.69 million tons.
DRI usage, however, was down 4% for the period to 19.84 million tons.
Iran is among the world’s fastest growing steelmaking countries. According to World Steel Association data, Iranian steel mills produced 1.98 million tons of steel in January 2018, up 25.9% YOY. The country recorded the second highest growth among all producers of 1 million tons per month and above for the 11-month period, bested only by Vietnam, with 38.8% to 1.06 million tons.