EghtesadOnline: Exports of finished steel products surged 84% YOY to reach 2.98 million tons in the last fiscal year (ended March 20, 2019).
Rebar was the main exported finished product with 1.65 million tons, registering a 177% jump YOY, according to the Iranian Steel Producers Association's latest report.
Following rebar were hot-rolled coil with 662,000 tons, down 5% YOY; beams with 243,000 tons, up 45% YOY; “other steel products” with 212,000 tons, up 165% YOY; coated coil with 172,000 tons, up 182% YOY; and cold-rolled coil with 43,000 tons, up 115% YOY.
Nevertheless, the export of finished and semi-finished steel products from Iran reached 7.88 million tons to register a 7.17% year-on-year decrease, according to Financial Tribune.
Semi-finished steel made up 4.89 million tons or more than 62.12% of the total export volume, down 29% YOY.
Billet and bloom had the lion’s share of semis exports with an aggregate of 3.31 million tons to mark an 18% YOY decline. Slab followed with 1.58 million tons, down 44% YOY.
Exports of direct-reduced iron declined by 25% YOY to 533,000 tons during the 12-month period.
Meanwhile, imports of all steel products were down during the period compared to the year before.
The ISPA report shows steel imports stood at 1.05 million tons during the same period, to register a 57.67% decline YOY.
Semis imports made up 28,000 tons of the total figure, down 45%. Billet and bloom imports went down by 4% to 27,000 tons, as slab witnessed a staggering 96% fall to reach only 1,000 tons.
Imports of finished steel dropped 58% YOY to 1.02 million tons. It mainly included HRC with 354,000 tons, down 67%; CRC with 286,000 tons, down 61%; coated coil with 253,000 tons, down 39%; “other steel products” with 67,000 tons, down 22%; rebar with 42,000 tons, down 53%; and beams with 24,000 tons, down 40%.
11% Growth in Production
Iranian steelmakers produced a total of 46.24 million tons of products to register an 11% growth year-on-year.
Semi-finished steel made up 24.67 million tons of the total output, up 13% YOY.
Billet and bloom made up 14.16 million tons of all semi-finished production volume while slab output hit 10.5 million tons to register a 22% and 3% YOY rise respectively.
As for finished steel, output increased 9% YOY to reach 21.57 million tons.
Hot-rolled coil had the lion's share of finished steel production with 7.94 million tons, up 3% YOY.
It was followed by rebar with 7.82 million tons, up 25%; cold-rolled coil with 2.53 million tons, up 10%; coated coil with 1.46 million tons, down 3%; beams with 1.03 million tons, down 8%; and “other steel products” with 769,000 tons, down 10%.
Iran’s direct-reduced iron production is registering a healthy growth. It stood at 26.35 million tons during the 12 months, indicating a 17% 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 19.79 million tons for semis, growing 31%; and hit 19.61 million for finished products to drop 5% YOY.
Hot-rolled coil had the lion’s share of finished steel consumption, as it reached 7.63 million tons, down 6% YOY. It was followed by rebar with 6.21 million tons, up 8% YOY; cold-rolled coil with 2.78 million tons, down 8% YOY; coated coil with 1.54 million tons, down 17% YOY; beams with 816,000 tons, down 18% YOY; and “other steel products” with 624,000 tons, down 28%.
As for semis, usage of billet and bloom grew 42% to 10.88 million tons, while that of slab rose 20% to 8.91 million tons.
DRI usage was up 18% with 25.82 million tons during the period.
Iran, the world's 10th biggest steel producer in 2019 according to World Steel Association, 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.