EghtesadOnline: A total of 4.13 million tons of finished and semi-finished steel products were exported from Iran during the first five months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Aug. 22) to register a 27.72% year-on-year growth, the Iranian Steel Producers Association announced.
Semi-finished steel made up 3.02 million tons or more than 73% of the total export volume, up 12% YOY.
Slab had the lion’s share of semis exports with an aggregate of 1.6 million tons to mark an 11% YOY growth. Billet and bloom followed with 1.41 million tons, up 13% YOY.
Exports of finished steel products surged 109% YOY to reach 1.10 million tons, Financial Tribune reported.
Rebar was the main exported finished product with 507,000 tons, registering a 92.05% jump YOY.
Following rebar were hot-rolled coil with 379,000 tons, up 159.59% YOY; beams with 92,000 tons, up 26% YOY; coated coil with 62,000 tons, up 182% YOY; “other steel products” with 57,000 tons, up 171% YOY; and cold-rolled coil with 11,000 tons, up 83% YOY.
Exports of direct-reduced iron increased 4% YOY to 350,000 tons.
Iran surpassed its 8-million-ton export target in the last fiscal year (March 2017-18) by shipping 8.49 million tons of steel, up 53.4% YOY.
Iranian steelmakers have targeted 9.5 million tons for this year (March 2018-19) and 14 million tons by the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year.
> Imports on the Decline
Imports of almost all steel products were down during the period compared with last year's corresponding period.
The ISPA report shows that steel imports stood at a total of 495,000 tons during the five months to August 22, down 43.04% YOY.
Semis imports made up 23,000 tons of the total figure, up 283%. Billet and bloom imports went up by 340% to 22,000 tons, as slab remained unchanged at 1,000 tons.
Imports of finished steel dropped 45% YOY to 472,000 tons. The imports mostly included CRC with 159,000 tons, down 38%; HRC with 130,000 tons, down 66.84%; coated coil with 126,000 tons, down 9%; "other steel products" with 22,000 tons, down 21%; rebar with 20,000 tons, down 39.39%; and beams with 15,000 tons, down 6%.
> 15.3% Growth in Production
Iranian steelmakers produced a total of 19.15 million tons of products during the five-month period to register a 15.3% growth compared with last year’s corresponding period.
Semi-finished steel made up 10.34 million tons of the total output, up 20% YOY.
"Billet and bloom" made up 5.63 million tons of all semi-finished production volume while slab output hit 4.70 million tons to register a 24% and 17% year-on-year rise respectively.
As for finished steel, output increased 10% YOY to reach 8.81 million tons.
Hot-rolled coil had the lion's share of finished steel production with 3.44 million tons, up 12% YOY.
It was followed by rebar with 3.02 million tons, up 18%; cold-rolled coil with 1.02 million tons, up 2%; coated coil with 606,000 tons, down 7%; beams with 374,000 tons, down 1%; and "other steel products" with 346,000 tons, down 1%.
Iran’s direct-reduced iron production is registering a healthy growth. It stood at 10.68 million tons during the five months, indicating a 19% rise YOY.
> Semis Apparent Usage Increasing
According to ISPA, Iran's apparent steel usage–defined as production plus imports minus exports, sometimes also adjusted for changes in inventories–stood at 7.34 million tons for semis, growing 25%; and hit 8.17 million for finished products to drop 2% YOY.
Hot-rolled coil had the lion’s share of finished steel consumption, as it reached 3.19 million tons, down 4% YOY. It was followed by rebar with 2.53 million tons, up 9% YOY; cold-rolled coil with 1.16 million tons, down 7% YOY; coated coil with 670,000 tons, down 13% YOY; "other steel products" with 311,000 tons, down 13%; and beams with 297,000 tons, down 7% YOY.
As for semis, usage of billet and bloom grew 28% to 4.24 million tons, while that of slab rose 20% to 3.1 million tons.
DRI usage was up 19% during the period to 10.33 million tons.