EghtesadOnline: Iranian steelmakers exported 8.49 million tons of products during the last fiscal year (ended March 20, 2018), registering a 53.4% year-on-year growth, the Iranian Steel Producers Association said.
Semi-finished steel made up 6.87 million tons of the total exports, up 84% YOY.
Billet and bloom had the lion’s share of semis exports with an aggregate of 4.02 million tons to mark an 86% growth YOY. Slab followed with 2.84 million tons, up 80% YOY.
Exports of finished steel products shrank 10% YOY to 1.62 million tons, Financial Tribune reported.
Thicker than 3-mm hot-rolled coil was the main finished steel product exported with 574,000 tons, down 46% YOY. Less than 3-mm thick HRC shipments surged 12,100% YOY to 122,000 tons.
Following HRC were rebar with 598,000 tons, up 106.9% YOY; beams with 168,000 tons, down 20% YOY; coated coil with 61,000 tons, up 118% YOY; cold-rolled coil with 20,000 tons, down 87% YOY and “other steel products” with 80,000 tons, up 78% YOY.
The export of direct-reduced iron jumped 315% YOY to 713,000 tons.
Iran is targeting to export 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 2020-21.
> Imports Decline
The ISPA report also shows imports of most steel products declined during the period.
Semis imports shrank 73% YOY to 51,000 tons. Billet and bloom imports dropped 85% YOY to 28,000 tons. Slab imports, however, surged 667% YOY to 23,000 tons.
Imports of finished steel dropped 16% YOY to 2.43 million tons. The imports mostly included less than 3-mm thick HRC with 835,000 tons, down 35% YOY; followed by cold-rolled coil with 737,000 tons, up 19 YOY; coated coil with 417,000 tons, up 19% YOY; thicker than 3-mm HRC with 235,000 tons, down 36% YOY; rebar with 89,000 tons, down 31.5% YOY; beam with 40,000 tons, down 13% YOY and “other steel products” with 86,000 tons, down 27% YOY.
> Production Growth at 13.7%
Iranian steelmakers produced a total of 41.66 million tons of products during the year to register a 13.7% growth compared with last year’s corresponding period.
Semi-finished steel made up 21.88 million tons of the total output, up 19% YOY.
Billet and bloom output stood at 11.65 million tons while that of slab reached 10.22 million tons, recording a 23% and 14% YOY growth respectively.
As for finished steel, the output increased 9% YOY to reach 19.77 million tons.
Finished steel production recorded a healthy growth for all products last year, save for rebar.
Hot-rolled coil had the lion’s share of finished steel production with 7.73 million tons, up 11% YOY; followed by rebar with 6.24 million tons, down 7% YOY; cold-rolled coil with 2.3 million tons, up 20% YOY; coated coil with 1.51 million tons, up 37% YOY; beams with 1.11 million tons, up 14% YOY and “other steel products” with 859,000 tons, up 100% YOY.
Iran’s DRI production is also registering a healthy growth. It stood at 22.56 million tons during 2017-18, indicating a 23% 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, according to Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Mohammad Shariatmadari.
> Growth in Apparent Steel Usage
Iran’s apparent steel usage for both semi-finished and finished steel recorded higher growths compared to the year before last.
According to ISPA, Iran's apparent steel usage (defined as production plus imports minus exports, sometimes also adjusted for changes in inventories) stood at 15.06 million tons for semis and 20.59 million for finished products, up 1% and 7% YOY respectively.
Hot-rolled coil had the lion’s share of finished steel consumption as it reached 8.11 million tons, up 7% YOY. It was followed by rebar with 5.73 million tons, down 13% YOY; cold-rolled coil with 3.02 million tons, up 27% YOY; coated coil with 1.86 million tons, up 31% YOY; beams with 995,000 tons, up 21% and “other steel products” with 865,000 tons, up 72% YOY.
As for semis, usage of billet and bloom grew 2% to 7.66 million tons, while that of slab grew by less than 1% to 7.4 million tons.
DRI usage, however, was down 2% for the period to 21.84 million tons.