EghtesadOnline: Iranian steel mills produced 6.8 million tons of crude steel in the first quarter of 2018, up 47% compared with last year’s similar period, according to the latest report released by World Steel Association, aka Worldsteel.
The country’s steel output in March grew by 43.7% year-on-year to hit 2.35 million tons.
The Iranian steel industry had the fastest growth in production among all producers of more than 1 million tons of steel per month.
Iran is ranked second in terms of fastest three-month and YOY growth in March respectively among all producers. The country is currently the world’s 10th largest producer of steel. It is placed between Brazil (ninth) with 8.64 million tons and Italy (11th) with 6.4 million tons, according to Financial Tribune.
The world’s 64 steelmakers produced 426.55 million tons of steel during the three months, up 4.1% YOY.
Global steel output stood at 148.33 million tons in March, indicating a 4% increase YOY.
During the three-month period, China was the world’s largest producer with 212.15 million tons of steel output, up 5.4% YOY. Chinese steel production hit 73.98 million tons in March to rise 4.5% YOY.
China was followed by India with 26.68 million tons, Japan with 26.4 million tons, the United States with 20.7 million tons, South Korea with 17.8 million tons, Russia with 16.5 million tons, Germany with 11.01 million tons and Turkey with 9.5 million tons.
Crude steel is defined as steel in its first solid (or usable) form: ingots and semi-finished products (billets, blooms and slabs). This is not to be confused with liquid steel, which is steel poured.
Iran’s steel output stood at 21.72 million tons in 2017, up 21.4% YOY. The country aims to become the world’s sixth largest steel producer as per the 20-Year Vision Plan, which targets an annual production capacity of 55 million tons of steel and 20-25 million tons of exports per year by 2025. Iranian steel mills have so far realized more than 30 million tons of the capacity target.
Latest statistics by Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization show that the country produced a total of 10.58 million tons of finished steel products, including hot- and cold-rolled coils, rebar, beams, pipes, wide and galvanized sheets, were produced in the last fiscal year (March 2017-18), up 5% YOY.
Iran Leads March DRI Output Growth
Global output of direct-reduced iron increased by 15.1% YOY in March, primarily driven by higher production in Iran.
Also called sponge iron, DRI 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 EAFs.
DRI output was 6.9 million tons in March, compared with 6.05 million tons in March 2017.
Output also grew by 8% month-on-month, compared with 6.4 million tons in February.
Iran increased its DRI output to 2.12 million tons in March, rising 47.3% YOY from 1.4 million tons last March.
The country’s plans to boost crude steel output have prompted the industry to expand its DRI capacity. It produced 6.16 million tons of the steelmaking material in Q1 of 2018, up 52.4% YOY.
In comparison, India’s DRI output grew by 6.1% YOY to 2.5 million tons in March, compared with 2.3 million tons the year before.
March DRI production was also down YOY in Mexico, Venezuela, Libya, South Africa and the UAE.