EghtesadOnline: An estimated 2.2 million tons of finished and semi-finished steel products were exported from Iran in the first three months (March 21-June 20) of the current fiscal year, showing 12.2% year-on-year decrease, according to a report released by the Iranian Steel Producers Association.
Semi-finished steel made up 1.42 million tons or 65.27% of the total export, down 23% YOY.
Billet and bloom had the lion’s share of semis export with an aggregate 904,000 tons marking 14% YOY decline. Slab followed with 521,000 tons -- down 35% YOY.
Exports of finished steel products increased 20% YOY to reach 758,000 tons, Financial Tribune reported.
Long steel products had the major share of finished products with a total of 561,000 tons (74.01%) to register 53% growth YOY.
Rebar was the main export in this category with 770,000 tons, down 64.6%, followed by L-beam, T-beam and other types with 45,000 tons (up 55%) and beams with 37,000 (down 20%).
Flat steel exports neared 197,000 tons in the finished steel product sector, again down 26% YOY.
Hot-rolled coil had the lion’s share with 131,000 tons to register a decrease of 45.87% YOY.
Next came coated coil with 35,000 tons, up 106% YOY, and cold-rolled coil 31,000 tons, up by 288% YOY.
Exports of direct-reduced iron increased 26% YOY to 224,000 tons.
An earlier report released by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization showed that of the 549,306 tons of exports over three months, Khouzestan Steel Company was the top exporter of steel, but its export declined by a solid 28% compared to last year.
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. Its other major export destinations the Far East and Americas.
Mobarakeh Steel Company (MSC) in Isfahan, came next with 342,767 tons, unchanged year on year. The company is the largest steelmaker in the MENA region and one of the largest industrial complexes in Iran.
It was followed by Esfahan Steel Company (ESCO) with 262,204 tons, up 3% YOY; Hormozgan Steel Company with 197,677 tons, up 5% YOY, South Kaveh Steel Co. with 194,600 tons, up 46% YOY; and Khorasan Steel Co. with 33,353 tons.
Imports Drop 67%
Import of almost all steel products fell during the three-month period compared to the same period last year.
The ISPA report shows steel imports stood at 96,000 tons in the three months to June 21, to register 67.9% decline YOY.
Import of semi-finished products reached a paltry 1,000 tons during the three months, down 83% YOY. This is while imports of finished steel dropped 68% YOY to 95,000 tons.
Imports mostly included flat steel products with 68,000 tons, down 73% YOY. HRC was the top product in this category with 71,000 tons, down 19.32% YOY, followed by coated coil with 32,000 tons, down 56% YOY, and CRC with 15,000 tons, down 84% YOY.
Imports of long steel products stood at 27,000 tons, indicating 27% decline YOY. L-beam, T-beam and other types topped the list in this category with 14,000 tons, down 22% YOY, followed by beams with 9,000 tons (down 25% YOY) and rebar with 4,000 tons (down 43% YOY).
9% Output Growth
The ISPA report shows steelmakers produced 11 million tons of products during Q1 to register 9.7% growth compared to the same Q1 the year before.
Semi-finished steel made up 6.63 million tons of the total output, up 5% YOY.
Billet and bloom made up 3.94 million tons of all semi-finished production while slab output hit 2.69 tons to register 17% rise and 8% decline respectively year over year.
As for finished steel, output increased 16% YOY to reach 5.27 million tons.
Flat steel products had the lion's share of finished steel production with 2.7 million tons, up 13% YOY. HRC made up 2.28 million tons of the production in this category, registering 9% growth YOY, followed by CRC with 650,000 tons (up 15% YOY), and coated coil with 428,000 tons (up 23% YOY).
This is while long steel products had a 2.56 million-ton share in the output of finished steel products in Q1 posting 19% rise YOY. Rebar had the major share with 2.05 million tons (up 21% YOY), followed by beams with 301,000 tons (up 22% YOY) and L-beam, T-beam and other types with 203,000 tons (down 1% YOY).
Meanwhile, Iran’s direct-reduced iron production registered healthy growth at 7.27 million tons – up 10% YOY.
Semis Apparent Usage Up 17%
Iran's apparent steel usage – defined as production plus imports minus exports, sometimes also adjusted for changes in inventories – stood at 5.21 million tons for semis, up 17%; and hit 4.6 million tons for finished products -- up 9% YOY.
Flat steel products had the lion’s share of finished steel consumption and reached 2.15 million tons, up 3% YOY. HRC had the biggest share with 2.17 million tons (up 12% YOY), followed by HRC with 634,000 tons (down 3% YOY) and coated coil with 425,000 tons (up 6% YOY).
Long steel products made up 2.02 million tons of finished steel consumption, up 11% YOY. Rebar grabbed the biggest share with 1.58 million, up 11% YOY, followed by beams with 268,000 tons (up 29% YOY) and L-beam, T-beam and other types with 172,000 tons (down 11% YOY).
As for semis, usage of billet and bloom grew 31% to 3.03 million tons, while that of slab dropped 2% to 2.17 million tons.
DRI usage was up 10% for the period to 7.04 million tons.
Iran, was the world's 10th steel producer in 2018, according to the World Steel Association. The country aims to increase production from the current 34 million tons to 55 million tons a year by 2025.
According to deputy minister of industries, mining and trade, and chairman of the Iranian Mines & Mining Industries Development & Renovation (IMIDRO) board, Khodadad Gharibpour, Iran’s steel industry is export-oriented and exports close to 40% of its steel products.