Iran eyes over $9bn worth of steel exports until March

Press TV – Iranian authorities say the country would exceed a target set for exports of steel until March next year despite American sanctions that have specifically targeted the metals sector.

A deputy to Iran’s minister of industries said on Thursday that a target of $9 billion worth of steel exports set for the end of the current Iranian calendar year would be well within the reach of the country as production in the first two quarters had exceeded the government estimates.

Ja’afar Serqini said production between late March and late September topped 13.2 million tons (over 14.5 million American tons), adding that output would reach 28 million tons in March 2020.

The estimates come as Iran continues to be subject to a series of crippling American sanctions that have also targeted the country’s production and trade of metals.

The bans were enforced in May, exactly one year after the US government pulled out of an international deal on Iran’s nuclear program and began to re-impose a series of sanctions on the country that had been lifted as part of the 2015 deal.

Serqini said Iran exported a total of six million tons of steel until late September, adding that annual exports would reach 12 million tons until the end of the current Iranian year.

The official insisted that the American sanctions had caused Iran’s metals and mining sector to thrive and to become a staple part of the country’s economy.

The government official said productivity in the Iranian steel industry, a leading one in the world, had also increased with mills spending less than $75 per each ton of output, compared to at least $100 in years before the sanctions.