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EghtesadOnline: Iran did not change its import duty for steel and export duties for iron ore, despite previous announcements, according to the latest annual import-export regulations published by the country’s customs authority.

In December 2016, Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Jafar Sargheini announced that the government had approved a reduction in the import duty on flat rolled steel products, S&P Global Platts reported.

Amir Hossein Kaveh, general secretary of Iran’s Syndicate of Steel Pipe and Profile Manufacturers, emphasized that the reduction in import duty is approved, but has been postponed, maybe for a few months.

“Perhaps it will be delayed until the presidential elections in May 2017, leaving the next government to decide about it,” Kaveh told Platts from Tehran.

According to Financial Tribune, Iran Steel Producers Association and Syndicate of Steel Pipe and Profile Manufacturers, together with other market participants, have insisted on reduction of import duties for HRC and CRC amid insufficient supplies in the domestic market and high prices for imports due to unmanageable tariffs, Metal Expert reported.

High import duties contributed to a decrease in flat steel imports by 27.8% to 2.3 million tons year-on-year during the 11 months of the last Iranian year, according to ISPA data.

Foreign purchases dropped to 1.5 million tons of HRC (–33.6%), 556,000 tons of CRC (–12.9%) and 307,000 tons of HDG (–18.4%).

The government has not removed the export duty on iron ore pellet either. Iranian miners were informed unofficially in December that the current 15% export duty on pellet would be removed from the Iranian new year starting March 21, enabling them to export their excess production.

“There is no change in iron ore and pellet export duty till now, but it could be reviewed after the election,” said Keyvan Jafari Tehrani, the head of international affairs at the Iron Ore Producers & Exporters Association of Iran.

“Domestic demand for pellet is quite reasonable now. Nonetheless, Golgohar and Chadormalou, the largest Iranian iron ore miners, are going to start to export a portion of their iron ore pellet output but it would not be much,” Tehrani added.

“The export will be limited to some 100,000-150,000 tons/month and by the governmental license for each shipment.”

Golgohar, the largest Iranian iron ore producer inaugurated its second 5 million-ton/year pellet plant in November 2016 and its nominal capacity is 10 million tons/year now.

Iran’s total pellet making capacity is currently 29.5 million tons/year which is expected to increase to 35 million tons/year within one year, according to Iranian state mines and metal holding, IMIDRO.

Iran Steel Iran iron ore Iran steel import Iran steel tariff Iran iron tariff