EghtesadOnline: Major Iranian steelmakers exported 2.24 million tons of steel during the first four months of the current fiscal year (March 21-July 22) 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 620,589 tons during the fourth month of the year (June 22-July 22), which show a 13% decrease compared with the same month of the year before.
With a total of 712,771 tons of exports over the four months and 163,465 tons in the fourth month under review, Khouzestan Steel Company was Iran's biggest exporter of steel.
Nonetheless, the mill experienced a year-on-year decline both during the four months and in the fourth month by 26% and 16% respectively, according to Financial Tribune.
The steelmaker, located in the southwestern Khuzestan Province, exports to over a dozen countries.
About half of KSC's exports goes to the Middle East and North Africa region. Its other major export destinations are located in the Far East and the Americas.
At second spot was Mobarakeh Steel Company, located in Isfahan, as it exported 501,809 tons of products during the period, up 9% compared with last year's corresponding period.
The company is the largest steelmaker in the Middle East and North Africa region and one of the largest industrial complexes operating in Iran.
During the fourth month, MSC shipped out 159,042 tons, which saw a 35% growth YOY.
Esfahan Steel Company (ESCO) ranked third, as it exported 360,510 tons during the four months, down 2% YOY.
During the month to July 22, ESCO exported 98,306 tons to register a YOY decrease of 15%.
Most of the other producers registered downturns during the four-month period under review.
Hormozgan Steel Company exported 229,345 tons of slabs, down 39% YOY.
South Kaveh Steel Company exported 246,800 tons of billet, up 22% YOY, while Chadormalou Mining and Industrial Company exported 85,241 tons of the product in the four months.
Khorasan Steel Company shipped out 57,165 tons of bloom, indicating a 22% growth YOY. In addition, the company exported 4,352 tons of rebar, down 85% YOY.
Iran Alloy Steel Company shipped out 20,044 tons of rebar, down 34% YOY.
South Kaveh Steel Company exported 16,110 tons of direct-reduced iron, down 60% YOY.
Bonab Steel Company exported 7,179 tons of rebar, up 347% YOY.
From the fourth month’s perspective, the highest growth was registered by MSC, as it exported 159,042 tons of products during the month, up by 35% 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 about 12.78 million tons of crude steel during the first half months of 2019, up 5.6% compared with 2018’s corresponding period.
Iran is aggressively pursuing the target of becoming the world’s sixth largest steel producer as per the 20-Year Vision Plan, which targets an 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 about 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 reduce 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.
Under te circumstances, 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 production.