Financial Tribune- Iranian steelmakers exported more than 4.4 million tons of crude steel and steel products during the 10 months to January 19, registering a 45% growth compared with last year’s corresponding period, according to the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization.
Exports for the 10th Iranian months of Dey (Dec. 21-Jan. 19) stood at 282,394 tons, down 26% year-on-year. However, the previous month of Azar (Nov. 21-Dec. 20) saw a 117% jump in exports.
Khouzestan Steel Company registered the highest amount of exports during the 10-month period, as it shipped 1.57 million tons of steel products overseas to register a 43% rise. Slab was KSC’s main exported product with 602,183 tons showing a growth of 2,793%. The company’s billet shipments, however, dropped 28% to 590,282 tons.
KSC is Iran’s largest semis producer. The recession in the local construction market is pushing the company to increase its exports. Other than its usual export destinations in Far Eastern markets such as Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand, the company recently made inroads into Egypt and Sudan, shipping 30,000 and 10,000 tons of billets to the two markets respectively at $375 per ton FOB.
KSC is quoting billets at $10-$15 per ton below the level of contracts signed at the end of December and in the first half of January.
According to Metal Expert, Iran’s billet producers have chosen to reduce their prices to meet customers halfway and boost demand for the material.
Mobarakeh Steel Company was second on the list as it exported 1.44 million tons of slabs, hot, cold, galvanized, acid-washed, tin-played, color-coated, corrugated steel coils and strips during the 10 months, registering a 9% growth.
HRC was the company’s main export commodity, as 899,118 tons of it were shipped overseas from March 20, 2016, to January 19, 2017. The export volume shows a 23% decline though. This is while MSC’s slab exports grew 2,434% to 250,491 tons.
Together with its subsidiaries, MSC is the largest flat steel producer in the Middle East and North Africa region and Iran’s largest steelmaker, accounting for 1% of Iran’s GDP.
Esfahan Steel Company ranked third by exporting 465,544 tons of beams, rebar, coils and ingots during the 10 months, indicating a 4% rise year-on-year. ESCO’s export volume dropped for all products during the period. Nonetheless, the Isfahan-based producer exported 6,563 and 2,868 tons of rebar and beam in Dey, which shows a 68% and 77% rise respectively.
Founded in 1971, ESCO is Iran’s third biggest steelmaker and largest long steel producer directly controlled by the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade.
The company was struggling for the most part of 2016 to clear billions of dollars of debts and find new export destinations as an alternative to the glutted local market.
ESCO’s good performance in the month of Dey, however, is a positive sign the company is getting back on track.
By exporting 54,669 tons of rebar during the 10 months, which showed a 260% rise, Khorasan Steel Company became the fourth largest Iranian exporter of steel products.
The fifth biggest exporter was Iran Alloy Steel Company, which exported 34,993 tons of rebar, up 95%. It was followed by Oxin Steel Company, as its 10-month strip shipments grew 197% to 16,905 tons.
Iran Steel Producers Association has forecasted domestic steelmakers to have exported close to 5.7 million tons by the end of the current fiscal year (March 2017). Iranian steelmakers set a record last year by exporting more than 4.1 million tons of steel products and 1.8 million tons of crude steel.
Iran is currently the world’s 14th largest steelmakers, as it produced 17.89 million tons of crude steel in 2016, up 10.8%, according to World Steel Association.