EghtesadOnline: Iranian steel mills produced a total of 6.22 million tons of crude steel during the first three months of 2019, up 7.1% compared with the corresponding period of 2018, the latest report released by the World Steel Association shows.
Iran’s March steel output grew 19.7% year-on-year to hit 2.23 million tons, the Brussels-based international trade body for the iron and steel industry added.
Despite the growth, Iran's world ranking slipped one notch to become the world’s 11th biggest crude steel producer in Q1 2019. The country is now placed between Italy (10th) with 6.28 million tons and Taiwan (12th) with 5.81 million tons.
The world’s 64 steelmakers produced a total of 444.11 million tons of steel over the three months, up 4.5% YOY, according to Financial Tribune.
Global steel output stood at 155 million tons in March, indicating a 4.9% increase YOY.
China was the world’s largest crude steel producer with 231.06 million tons of steel output, up 9.9% YOY. It was followed by India with 27.33 million tons, Japan with 24.97 million tons, the United States with 22.22 million tons, South Korea with 18.1 million tons, Russia with 16.81 million tons, Germany with 10.44 million tons and Brazil with 8.39 million tons.
Iran’s crude steel output stood at 24.52 million tons in 2018, up 17.7% YOY.
Crude steel is defined as steel in its first solid (or usable) form: ingots, semi-finished products (billets, blooms and slabs). This is not to be confused with liquid steel, which is steel poured.
The latest Worldsteel report shows global direct-reduced iron output increased 4.7% year-on-year to 21.78 million tons during the three months to March 31.
Global DRI output in March stood at 7.55 million tons to register a 5.6% growth YOY.
Production for 2018 grew 11.6% year-on-year to 84.3 million tons.
Iran was the second biggest producer with 6.91 million tons of DRI production during the three months under review to register a 21.7% year-on-year growth.
Its DRI output in March grew 25.2% year-on-year to hit 2.47 million tons.
The country produced 25.54 million tons of DRI in 2018, up 31.6% YOY.
India, Iran's primary rival in DRI output, reduced its Q1 production by 1.1% YOY to 8.2 million tons.
The largest decrease was in Argentina where output decreased 46.2% YOY to 253,000 tons.
Iran aims to become the world’s sixth largest steel producer as per the 20-Year Vision Plan, which targets annual production capacity expansion to 55 million tons and 20-25 million tons of exports per year by 2025. Iranian steel mills have so far realized just over 30 million tons of the capacity target.
The country has been working to increase its iron ore processing capacity, including both DRI and hot-briquetted iron production to feed its steelmaking expansion target.
According to Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Khodadad Gharibpour, Iranian steel industry is an export-oriented one and the country exports more than 40% of its steel output.