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EghtesadOnline: With the export of 1.1 million tons of slab, bloom and billet during the first nine months of the current fiscal year (March. 20-Dec. 20), Khouzestan Steel Company remained Iran’s biggest exporter of steel.

The volume of exports, though, register a 20% year-on-year fall. 

According to latest data released by Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization, KSC’s exports during the ninth month of the year (Nov. 21-Dec. 20), stood at 151,915 tons, up 40% year-on-year.

KSC exported a record high of 2.76 million tons last fiscal year (March 2017-18), marking a growth of 34% YOY.

Mobarakeh Steel Company, the largest steel company in Iran, exported 124,837 tons during the month and 805,970 tons during the nine months under review, up 26% and down 27% YOY respectively.  



Winner of National Medal of Honor in Exports

Esfahan Steel Company’s exports during the month under review went down by 16% to 86,497 tons. ESC's nine-month exports amounted to 728,082 tons, down 17% YOY. 

ESCO was awarded the National Medal of Honor in a ceremony held to mark the 24th annual National Export Day last week.

Mansour Yazdi-Zadeh, CEO of the company, was awarded by First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri at the event.

Esfahan Steel Company is the first and largest constructional steel and rail producer in Iran and the biggest producer of long products in the Middle East.

According to Yazdi-Zadeh, ESCO has constantly registered growth in exports, expanded its export destinations and boosted shipments to regional markets as well as those in Southeast Asia and Africa.

He added that the company prides itself in repatriating 100% of its export earnings.

“ESCO has two goals, namely development of Iran’s railroad by producing rail, in addition to expansion of its export markets,” he was quoted as saying by ILNA.

Esfahan Steel Company supplied the Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructure Company with the first batch of domestically produced 60E1 (UIC60) rails in September 2019.

Notably, ESCO is providing rail for the massive Chabahar Zahedan railroad project.

Iran recently signed a contract with Afghan Railway Company to export rails to the neighboring country.

According to the Iranian Steel Producers Association, the first contract for rail export worth $4.33 million to Afghanistan was signed.

Chabahar-Zahedan railroad project requires at least 50,000 tons of rail tracks, 5,000 of which are going to be supplied by ESCO.

With an investment to the tune of 12,000 billion rials ($55 million), the 628-kilometer railroad project connecting the southeastern port city of Chabahar to the eastern city of Zahedan near the border with Afghanistan and Pakistan has witnessed a 48% physical progress, Abbas Khatibi, the deputy head of the Construction and Development of Transportation Infrastructures Company, said in November.

Noting that 70% of the excavation works of the project have been completed, the official said, “This large-scale project has been split up into northern and southern parts forming eight sections. The southern part is 312 kilometers long and the northern part spans 316 kilometers,” the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development's news portal reported.

His remarks came after Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami inaugurated the track-laying operation from Chabahar Port. 

“The track-laying from Zahedan started three months ago and thus far 32 kilometers of the railroad have been completed. A total of €300 million have been allocated to this project from the resources of the National Development Fund of Iran, of which we have received €100 million to date,” he said.

The project manager said 92,000 tons of rails are needed to complete the 700-kilometer track. 

According to Mohammad Reza Azarian, the UIC60 rails manufactured by Esfahan Steel Company will be used in this project.

“As per a contract with ESCO, the Isfahan-based company will supply 5,000 tons of rails in the first stage, of which 1,000 tons have been delivered. Track-laying of one kilometer of railroad is planned to be completed in one day,” he was quoted as saying by Fars News Agency. 



Other Exporters

South Kaveh Steel Company exported 545,400 tons of billet during the nine months to post a 12% YOY fall. The mill recorded a 109% increase in monthly exports, with 117,000 tons.

Chadormalu Iron Ore Processing exported 423,033 tons of billet, nearly 60,800 tons of which were shipped during the ninth month of the current fiscal year. IMIDRO’s figures show a 123% increase in company's exports in the first nine months of the year and a 376% jump in its ninth month's shipments. 

Hormozgan Steel Company came next, exporting 344,286 tons during the nine months, down 42%. It shipped 30,804 tons during the month to Dec. 20, marking a 49% decline YOY.

Kavir Steel Company exported more than 298,000 tons during the three quarters under review.  

Saba Steel Company registered the highest jump among major steel exporters, during the first nine months of the current fiscal year. The mill exported 281,869 tons, 163% higher than the same period of last year. 

Bonab Steel Company registered the highest growth during the ninth month of the year, 549%, to 9,205 tons.

The above-mentioned steelmakers, considered Iran’s heavyweight exporters of steel, together experienced a 35% jump in collective volume of finished and semi-finished products’ exports during the ninth month of the current Iranian year, even though the volume of exports during the first three quarters of the year is 13% lower than previous year's corresponding period. 

The steel heavyweights exported 721,387 tons of steel products during the month to Dec. 20. Exports during the first three quarters of the year amounted to 4.78 million tons.  

The data used in this report are based on preliminary statistics provided by IMIDRO on Iran's large-scale producers and lacks details on most private producers' shipments.

A more detailed report is usually published later by Iran Steel Producers Association.



US Sanctions

The exports come amid a series of sanctions imposed on Iran’s steel industry by the United States.

Most recently, the US blacklisted earlier this year, a Chinese company that makes elements for steel production, 12 Iranian steel and metals producers and three foreign-based sales agents of an Iranian metals and mining holding company, seeking to deprive Iran of revenues as US President Donald Trump’s term winds down, Reuters reported.

The US Treasury Department, in a statement, named the China-based company as Kaifeng Pingmei New Carbon Materials Technology Co Ltd., saying it specialized in the manufacture of carbon materials and provided thousands of metric tons of materials to Iranian steel companies between December 2019 and June 2020.

No one at KFCC, which makes graphite electrodes, was available for comment on Wednesday. Filings show the company is owned by Henan Yicheng New Energy, which said it was unaware of the situation.

Shares in Yicheng, which is ultimately controlled by China’s Henan Province, fell as much as 6.7% to a two-week low on Wednesday. When Yicheng was buying KFCC in 2019, it said exports to Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Europe accounted for about half of KFCC’s core business.

Among the 12 Iranian companies blacklisted are the Pasargad Steel Complex and the Gilan Steel Complex Company, both of which were designated under Executive Order 13871 for operating in the Iranian steel sector.

The others are Iran-based Middle East Mines and Mineral Industries Development Holding Co (MIDHCO), Khazar Steel Company, Vian Steel Complex, South Rouhina Steel Complex, Yazd Industrial Constructional Steel Rolling Mill, West Alborz Steel Complex, Esfarayen Industrial Complex, Bonab Steel Industry Complex, Sirjan Iranian Steel and Zarand Iranian Steel Company.

The Treasury said it was also designating MIDHCO’s Germany-based subsidiary GMI Projects Hamburg GmbH, its China-based World Mining Industry Company Ltd and UK-based GMI Projects Ltd for being owned or controlled by MIDHCO.

“The sanctions mean that the US government has the authority to seize any US-based assets of the designated entities,” wrote the AL-Monitor.


Iran KSC Exporter