EghtesadOnline: Major Iranian steelmakers exported a total of 1.62 million tons of steel during the first three Iranian months (March 21-June 21) to register a year-on-year decline of 12%, latest data released by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization show.
The steel mills shipped out 573,283 tons during the third month of the year (May 22-June 21), which shows a 4% decrease compared with the same month of the year before.
With a total of 549,306 tons of exports over the three months and 150,567 tons in the third month under review, Khouzestan Steel Company was Iran's biggest exporter.
Nonetheless, the mill experienced a year-on-year decline both during the three months and in the third month by 28% and 45% respectively, Financial Tribune reported.
The steelmaker, located in the southwestern Khuzestan Province, exports to over a dozen countries.
About half of KSC's exports go to the Middle East and North Africa region. Its other major export destinations are located in the Far East and the Americas.
Standing in the second spot was Mobarakeh Steel Company, located in Isfahan, as it exported 342,767 tons of products during the three months, unchanged compared to its output in last year's corresponding period.
The company is the largest steelmaker in the MENA region and one of the largest industrial complexes operating in Iran.
During the third month, it shipped out 173,253 tons abroad, which saw a 73% growth YOY.
Esfahan Steel Company (ESCO) ranked third by exporting 262,204 tons during the three months, up 3% YOY.
During the month from May 22 to June 21, ESCO exported 110,556 tons to register a YOY increase of 82%.
Most of the other producers registered downturns during the period under review.
Hormozgan Steel Company exported 197,677 tons of slabs, up 5% YOY.
South Kaveh Steel Company exported 194,600 tons of billet, up 46% YOY.
Khorasan Steel Company shipped out 29,974 tons of bloom, indicating a 19% growth YOY, and 3,379 tons of rebar, down 86% YOY.
Iran Alloy Steel Company shipped out 20,023 tons of rebar, showing a 31% YOY decline.
South Kaveh Steel Company exported 15,360 tons of direct-reduced iron, down 53% YOY.
Bonab Steel Company exported 5,447 tons of rebar, up 239% YOY.
In the third month to June 21, the highest growth was registered by ESCO as the company exported 110,556 tons of products during the month, up by 82% YOY.
According to World Steel Association's latest data, Iran is the 10th biggest producer of steel in the world as it produced a total of 10.62 million tons of crude steel during the first five months of 2019, up 5.5% compared with the corresponding period of 2018.
Iran is aggressively pursuing the target of becoming the world’s sixth largest steel producer as per the 20-Year Vision Plan, which targets the 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 34 million tons of the capacity target.
Iran's steel exports, among other commodities, have come under pressure due to US sanctions.
UK-based analysts in Fastmarkets say the US sanctions are expected to cut Iranian steel exports, gradually leading to lower Iranian steel output.
US President Donald Trump announced his decision to pull out of the nuclear deals Iran signed with world powers, including the United States, back in May.
He specifically ordered new sanctions targeting Iran's export revenues from its industrial metals sector in recent months.
An executive order issued by Trump covers Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum and copper sectors, the Islamic Republic’s largest non-petroleum-related sources of export revenue and 10% of its export economy, a statement from the White House said.
In the meantime, shipping problems are said to be a major issue in the way of steel exports.
At present, Iranian steel exporters have had to cut prices significantly to attract customers and compensate for the risks involved in trade with the country.
According to Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Khodadad Gharibpour, Iranian steel industry is an export-oriented one, as the country exports more than 40% of its steel output.