EghtesadOnline: Khouzestan Steel Company, Iran’s largest exporter of semi-finished steel products, intends to integrate its production and is negotiating to buy local plate producer Oxin Steel, a company source has told Metal Bulletin.
Located in the southern province of Khuzestan, Oxin Steel is Iran’s biggest producer of heavy plates and has a capacity of 1 million tons per year. It also has a direct-reduction iron plant and a slab mill, each with a capacity of 1 million tons per year.
But in recent years, Oxin Steel’s slab capacity has been idled because plate production required a special quality of slab that could not be produced at the site.
As a result, Oxin Steel was purchasing slabs from Khouzestan Steel as well as importing them from Asia, according to Financial Tribune.
Oxin currently runs its plate mill at around 65% utilization, with the products being sold mainly to the domestic market.
Khouzestan Steel has no plans to restart slab production at Oxin Steel, the company source said. But it may wish to increase plate production to 1 million from 500,000 tons per year, with products being sold domestically and for export.
This may result in reduced slab exports by Khouzestan Steel because it only has the capacity to produce 1.6 million tons per year of slab and would need to redirect most of that output to Oxin to make plate.
In the previous Iranian year, which ended on March 20, Khouzestan Steel exported 728,000 tons of slab, up by 17% year-on-year.
The remaining 1.8 million tons of the company’s total exports of 2.5 million tons of semi-finished steel comprised blooms and billets. Khouzestan Steel Company’s total semi-finished steel export soared by 49% year-on-year after the relaxation of international trading sanctions.