EghtesadOnline: Iranian steelmakers registered the third highest growth in the world last year.
The latest report released by the World Steel Association shows Iran produced 31.9 million tons of crude steel in Iran in 2019 to register a 30.1% rise compared with the year before, according to Financial Tribune.
The growth in production follows Libya’s 53% and Vietnam’s 43.2% rise.
Iran's December output increased 40% year-on-year to hit 2.89 million tons, according to the Brussels-based international trade body for the iron and steel industry, to experience the second highest growth after Kazakhstan with 525%.
The report shows Iran was the world’s 10th biggest crude steel producer in 2019.
The country is placed between Brazil (ninth) with 32.23 million tons of production and Italy (11th) with 23.24 million tons.
The world’s 64 steelmakers produced a total of 1.84 billion tons of steel last year, up 3.5% YOY.
China was the world’s largest crude steel producer with 996.34 million tons of steel output, up 8.3% YOY.
China was followed by India with 111.24 million tons, Japan with 99.28 million tons, the United States with 87.92 million tons, Russia with 71.57 million tons, South Korea with 71.42 million tons, Germany with 39.67 million tons and Turkey with 33.74 million tons.
Iran’s crude steel output stood at 24.52 million tons in 2018, according to Worldsteel, 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.
World's 2nd Biggest DRI Producer
The latest Worldsteel report also shows global direct-reduced iron output increased by 2.2% year-on-year to 90.06 million tons in 2019.
Global DRI output in December stood at 7.64 million tons to register a 2.5% decline YOY.
Iran was the second biggest producer in the world with 27.73 million tons of DRI production in 2019, registering a 7.7% year-on-year growth.
Iran’s October DRI output, however, went down 1.1% year-on-year to hit 2.5 million tons.
The country produced a total of 25.54 million tons of DRI in 2018, up 31.6% YOY.
India, Iran's primary rival in DRI output, increased its 12-month production by 7.7% YOY to 36.85 million tons.
The largest decrease was in Argentina, where output decreased 37.4% YOY to 1 million tons.
Development Plans on Track
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 35 million tons of the capacity expansion 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.
The Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization's latest report on development of under-construction steel production units shows 19.1 million tons will be added to Iran’s annual steel production capacity by the time the development of all these units is complete in the fiscal 2023-24.
The addition of 19.1 million tons by the time the under-construction projects come on stream to the current capacity means the aggregate output capacity will reach 54.1 by March 2024—only 900,000 short of the target, for reaching which Iranian steelmakers will have one more year.
Speaking at the 10th edition of Iranian Steel and Iron Ore Market Conference and Expo, also known as “ISMC 2020” held earlier this month, Mohammad Abka, the head of Foolad Technic International Engineering Company, confirmed that the Iranian steel industry is well on track to reach its projected targets.
According to Abka, Iran's crude steel production capacity, actual production and exports stood at 33.9 million tons, 24.7 million tons and 5.5 million tons respectively in the last fiscal year (March 2018-19).
He expects the figures to reach 37.9, 26.3 and 6.5 million tons by the end of the current Iranian year (March 19).
"If the current trend were to continue, Iran will definitely reach its 55-million-ton target by the fiscal 2025-26," he said.
Hosted by Donya-e-Eqtesad Media Group, the parent company of Financial Tribune, ISMC is held annually to take stock of developments in Iran's steel industry and survey challenges and opportunities facing the strategic sector.
More than 60 domestic and international firms were present at the two-day ISMC 2020 held on Jan. 21-22.