EghtesadOnline: A total of 7.09 million tons of finished and semi-finished steel products were exported from Iran during the 11 months to Feb. 19 to register a 4.33% year-on-year decrease, the Iranian Steel Producers Association's latest report showed.
Semi-finished steel made up 4.48 million tons or more than 63.19% of the total export volume, down 26% YOY.
Billet and bloom had the lion’s share of semis exports with an aggregate of 2.93 million tons to mark a 13% YOY decline. Slab followed with 1.55 million tons, down 42% YOY.
Exports of finished steel products surged 90% YOY to reach 2.61 million tons, according to Financial Tribune.
Rebar was the main exported finished product with 1.43 million tons, registering a 193% jump YOY.
Following rebar were hot-rolled coil with 567,000 tons, down 3% YOY; beams with 224,000 tons, up 48% YOY; “other steel products” with 189,000 tons, up 155% YOY; coated coil with 158,000 tons, up 177% YOY; and cold-rolled coil with 37,000 tons, up 118% YOY.
Exports of direct-reduced iron decreased 21% YOY to 507,000 tons during the 11-month period.
Meanwhile, imports of all steel products, except billet and bloom, were down during the period compared with last year's corresponding period.
The ISPA report shows steel imports stood at 990,000 tons during the same period to register a 53.24% decline YOY.
Semis imports made up 28,000 tons of the total figure, down 40%. Billet and bloom imports went up by 8% to 27,000 tons, as slab witnessed a staggering 95% fall to reach 1,000 tons.
Imports of finished steel dropped 54% YOY to 962,000 tons. The imports mostly included HRC with 350,000 tons, down 60%; CRC with 261,000 tons, down 59%; coated coil with 228,000 tons, down 38%; “other steel products” with 60,000 tons, down 21%; rebar with 40,000 tons, down 45%; and beams with 23,000 tons, down 32%.
10% Growth in Production
Iranian steelmakers produced a total of 42.3 million tons of products during the 11-month period to register a 10.94% growth compared with last year’s corresponding period.
Semi-finished steel made up 22.69 million tons of the total output, up 13% YOY.
Billet and bloom made up 12.95 million tons of all semi-finished production volume while slab output hit 9.73 million tons to register a 22% and 4% year-on-year rise respectively.
As for finished steel, output increased 8% YOY to reach 19.6 million tons.
Hot-rolled coil had the lion's share of finished steel production with 7.27 million tons, up 3% YOY. It was followed by rebar with 7.1 million tons, up 24%; cold-rolled coil with 2.34 million tons, up 9%; coated coil with 1.27 million tons, down 9%; beams with 959,000 tons, down 5%; and “other steel products” with 654,000 tons, down 17%.
Iran’s direct-reduced iron production is registering a healthy growth. It stood at 24.3 million tons during the 11 months, indicating a 19% rise YOY.
Semis Apparent Usage Increasing
According to ISPA, Iran's apparent steel usage—defined as production plus imports minus exports, sometimes also adjusted for changes in inventories—stood at 18.24 million tons for semis, growing 30%; and hit 17.95 million for finished products to drop 5% YOY.
Hot-rolled coil had the lion’s share of finished steel consumption, as it reached 7.06 million tons, down 4% YOY. It was followed by rebar with 5.7 million tons, up 8% YOY; cold-rolled coil with 2.56 million tons, down 7% YOY; coated coil with 1.34 million tons, down 21% YOY; beams with 758,000 tons, down 15% YOY; and “other steel products” with 525,000 tons, down 34%.
As for semis, billet and bloom consumption grew by 37% to 10.05 million tons, while that of slab rose 22% to 8.18 million tons.
DRI usage was up 20% for the period to 23.79 million tons.
Iran, the world's 10th biggest steel producer—according to World Steel Association, 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 just over 30 million tons of the capacity 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.