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EghtesadOnline: The government has banned the export of direct-reduced iron to increase supply to local downstream plants.

The directive was conveyed to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration by the Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Shariatmadari.

According to the directive, all producers are now required to first offer their commodities on Iran Mercantile Exchange at predetermined prices before they export. They can only export their goods, if there is zero demand for it at IME.

DRI, also called sponge iron, is produced by using 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, according to Financial Tribune.

Iran’s major producers exported 186,360 tons of DRI worth $38.9 million during the first three months of the current fiscal year (March 21-June 21), down 17% and 33% year-on-year, according to latest statistics released by Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization, IRNA reported.

Iran was the world’s second largest DRI producer with an output of 14.35 million tons during the first half of 2018, up 62% YOY. Iran’s main rival, India, produced 14.7 million tons in H1.

 

Iran direct-reduced iron DRI Exports