EghtesadOnline: Atotal of 4.53 million tons of finished and semi-finished steel products were exported from Iran during the first seven months of the current fiscal year (March 20-Oct. 21) to register a 23.5% decline year-on-year, the Iranian Steel Producers Association reported.
Semi-finished steel made up 3.19 million tons of total export volume, down 16% YOY.
Billet and bloom had the lion’s share of semis exports with an aggregate of 2.451 million tons, even though the sum was 6% lower than the previous corresponding period's 2.6 million tons. Slab came next with 740,000 tons, down 39% YOY.
Exports of finished steel products declined by 37% to 1.34 million tons during the first seven months of the year.
Rebar accounted for the largest portion of finished steel products exported from Iran during the seven-month period, with 834,000 tons. This is while the total volume of Iran rebar exports experienced a 40% fall compared with the same period of last year.
Hot-rolled coil came next with 235,000 tons, registering a 20% decrease compared with the first seven months of the previous fiscal year.
Beams exports amounted to 95,000 tons during the period under review, down 10% YOY. Nearly 104,000 tons of L-beam, T-beam and other types were also exported from Iran during the seven-month period, recording a 44% decline YOY.
Coated coil with 52,000 tons, down 54% YOY, and cold-rolled coil with 25,000 tons, down 71% YOY, were other finished steel products exported from Iran.
Exports of direct-reduced iron dropped by 72% YOY to 184,000 tons, ISPA figures show.
Iran is now the world’s biggest DRI producer. It has been striving to increase its iron ore processing capacity, including both DRI and hot-briquetted iron production to feed its steelmaking expansion.
IMIDRO expects DRI production capacity to reach 37.2 million tons by the fiscal yearend, while the actual production is estimated to reach 33.6 million tons to utilize 90% of its nameplate capacity.
It expects DRI production capacity to reach 37.2 million tons by the end of the current fiscal year (March 2021). Actual production is estimated to reach 33.6 million tons.
Major Rise in Imports
Unlike exports, imports of finished and semi-finished steel products increased during the period under review compared with last year’s corresponding period.
The ISPA report shows steel imports stood at 486,000 tons, up 50% YOY.
Semis imports, which only consisted of billet and bloom, made up 4,000 tons of the total figure, unchanged compared with the same period of last year. Billet and bloom imports amounted to 3,000 tons, up 50% whereas the import of slab decreased by 50 to 1,000 tons.
Imports of finished steel jumped 6,507% YOY to 482,000 tons. The imports mostly included HRC with 179,000 tons, up 281%; coated coil with 134,000 tons, up 2%; CRC with 123,000 tons, up 48%; L-beam, T-beam and other types with 24,000 tons, down 20%; rebar with 15,000 tons, down 35%; and beams with 7,000 tons, unchanged compared with the same period of last year’s figures.
Growth in Production
Iranian steelmakers produced a total of 29.77 million tons of semi-finished and finished steel products during the first seven months of the current fiscal year to register a 7.34% year-on-year increase.
According to the Iranian Steel Producers Association’s latest report, semis accounted for 16.981 million tons of the total output, up 6% YOY.
Billet and bloom made up 10.23 million tons of semi-finished production whereas slab output hit 6.75 million tons to register a 6% and 7% YOY rise respectively.
The output of finished steel increased by 9% YOY to 12.793 million tons.
Long steel products had a 6.49 million-ton share in the output of finished steel products, posting a 14% growth YOY.
Rebar production stood at 5.27 million tons (up 15% YOY). It was followed by beams with 748,000 tons (up 20% YOY) and L-beam, T-beam and other types with 469,000 tons (down 3% YOY).
The production of flat steel picked up during the seven-month period, increasing 4% year-on-year to 6.29 million tons.
Hot-rolled coil made up 5.28 million tons of the production in this category, showing a 4% rise compared with the similar period of last year, followed by cold-rolled coil with 1.594 tons to register a 6% YOY rise and coated coil with 908,000 tons (down 7%).
Highest Growth in Global Output
The latest report of World Steel Association shows Iran registered the highest growth in crude steel production among the world's top 10 producers.
Iranian steel mills produced a total of 20.82 million tons of crude steel during the first nine months of 2020, which indicate a 9% rise compared with the corresponding period of 2019, according to the Brussels-based international trade body for the iron and steel industry.
Iran remains the world’s 10th biggest crude steel producer, unchanged compared to the previous monthly report.
The closure of businesses and disruption in industrial operations, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak in early 2019, was among key factors causing a decline in the output of countries ranked above Iran during the nine-month period.
Iran's September output decreased by 2% year-on-year to hit 2.26 million tons.
The country is placed between Brazil (ninth) with 22.34 million tons and Vietnam (11th) with 17.7 million tons.
The world’s 64 steelmakers produced a total of 1.34 billion tons of steel over the nine months, down 4% YOY.
Global steel output stood at 156.4 million tons in September, indicating a 3.2% YOY increase.
During the first three quarters of 2020, China was the world’s largest crude steel producer with 783.3 million tons of steel output, up 5% YOY.
It was followed by India with 70.2 million tons, Japan with 61.2 million tons, the United States with 53.4 million tons, Russia with 53.2 million tons, South Korea with 49.6 million tons, Turkey with 25.9 million tons and Germany with 25.7 million tons.
Crude steel is defined as steel in its first solid (or usable) form: ingots and semi-finished products (billets, blooms and slabs). This is not to be confused with liquid steel, which is steel poured.