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Iran steel exports rise 12%

Iran steel exports rise 12%

TEHRAN: Major Iranian steelmakers exported 2.64 million tons of semi-finished and finished steel products during the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Aug. 22), registering a 12% growth compared with last year’s corresponding period, Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization reported. The export volume for Mordad, the fifth month of the year (July 23-Aug. 22), stood at 512,779 tons, up 78% year-on-year. The IMIDRO data released on Wednesday is a preliminary report on major producers’ exports. A more comprehensive and detailed version, including smaller private mills’ performance, often follows from the Iranian Steel Producers Association in about two weeks.

Khouzestan Steel Company was the biggest exporter during the period under review, as it shipped 1.163 million tons of slab, bloom and billet overseas, up 72% YOY. Bloom exports made up the bulk of KSC’s shipments with 609,842 tons and were up 243% YOY. The company’s billet exports, however, were down 26% to 242,440 tons. Slab shipments jumped 80% to 311,221 tons. KSC’s exports during the fifth month jumped 357% to 238,214 tons. The steelmaker, located in the southwestern Khouzestan Province, exports to 13 countries. About 50% of its exports are shipped to the Middle East and North Africa region, 40% to the Far East and around 10% to countries in Americas. KSC produced over 1.55 million tons of slab, bloom and billet in the five-month period, according to company data. Slabs made up 545,734 tons of the overall figure as billets and blooms together accounted for 1 million tons. Sales revenue for the period stood at 25 trillion rials ($649 million).

According to KSC’s Managing Director Modarres Khiabani, the company’s profits in the last fiscal year jumped by over 300% to 6.7 trillion rials ($176.31 million) compared with the year before. The sharp rise came as KSC became Iran’s biggest exporter of steel last year, overtaking Iran’s largest steelmaker Mobarakeh Steel Company. KSC shipped about 52% of its total output of 3.6 million tons for the year and plans to increase it to 5 million tons a year within two years. Esfahan Steel Company was the second biggest exporter during the five months with 585,488 tons of beam, rebar, coils and other products shipped overseas, up 133% YOY. Rebar made up 78,900 tons of ESCO’s overall exports, registering a 40% growth YOY, followed by beam and coils with 49,481 tons and 28,210 tons respectively. Beam shipments were down 23% YOY, while coil exports remained unchanged. Steel products listed as “other” made up 28,210 tons of exports, up 230%. ESCO shipped a total of 109,513 tons during the fifth month, up 198% YOY.

The financially embattled steelmaker had been drowning in debt for the past few years, but its latest production and sales data suggest things are improving. In its latest financial report, ESCO set its sales target at 42 trillion rials ($1.08 billion) for the current fiscal year (started March 21). Data released on www.codal.ir indicate that the steelmaker has achieved 36% of its target in the first five months of the year while 13% of the target were realized in Mordad. Mordad has been ESCO’s best month so far this year with sales hitting 5.25 trillion rials ($136.2 million). The sales of the company’s main products, namely beam and rebar, jumped 130% and 438% month-on-month to 1.94 trillion rials ($50.2 million) and 1.65 trillion rials ($42.81 million) respectively.

ESCO’s output during the fifth month of the year stood at 100,398 tons for beams, 53,392 tons for rebars, 36,129 tons for ingots and 4,573 for coils. Esfahan Steel Company is Iran’s oldest steelmaker and one of the country’s largest producers of structural steel. It was jointly established in 1965 by Iran and the Soviet Union’s Tyazhpromexport Company. The steelmaker’s improving condition can help it deal with accumulated losses standing at 21.03 trillion rials ($544.86 million) by the end of this year’s first quarter (ended June 21). Its total debts also stand at 83.25 trillion rials ($2.15 billion).

Hormozgan Steel Company was the third largest exporter, as it shipped 348,559 tons of slabs, registering a 20% growth YOY. The steelmaker’s exports for the fifth month remained unchanged at 83,000. The company produced a total of 579,652 tons of slabs during the fifth month, with sales earning $249.3 million for the period. As a subsidiary of Iran’s largest steelmaker Mobarakeh Steel Company, HOSCO has outperformed its parent company in exports for two months in a row and the trend seems to continue as MSC increasingly focuses on the local market. Mobarakeh took fourth spot, as it exported a total of 365,099 tons of hot- and cold-rolled, acid-washed, tin-plated, coated, checkered and galvanized flat steel during the five months, down 63% YOY. Similar to the four-month period, the export of all MSC-made commodities saw a decline in double digits, excluding coated coil and slab exports, which rose 14% and 35% to 2,321 and 208,868 tons respectively. MSC exported 74,674 tons during the fifth month, down 61% YOY. This is while statistics released by MSC at Tehran Stock Exchange indicate that local sales are robust across the entire spectrum of products. The company’s sales value for the five-month period reached $1.44 billion. Together with its subsidiaries, MSC is the largest flat steel producer in the Middle East and North Africa region, accounting for 1% of Iran’s GDP. Khorasan Steel Company came next, as its rebar exports rose 49% to 51,404 tons. The company’s exports in the fifth month stood at 4,673 tons, posting a 1,107% upsurge YOY.

Iran Alloy Steel Company was next with the export of 38,084 tons of rebar, up 49% YOY. Its exports during the fifth month were up 88% to 2,502 tons. Khouzestan Oxin Steel Company was next with 3,523 tons of plates, down 71% YOY. It exported 203 tons in the fifth month, down 96% YOY. As part of the 20-Year Vision Plan (2005-25), the Iranian steel industry aims to become the world’s sixth largest steelmaker by reaching an output capacity of 55 million tons per year by the deadline (2025). According to experts, Iran needs to annually export at least 15 million tons by then to keep such a massive production volume economically viable. Exports are expected to reach 8 million tons in the current fiscal year, which ends on March 20, 2018, according to former minister of Industries, mining and trade, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh. Iranian steelmakers exported over 3.74 million tons of semis and 1.79 million tons of steel products in the last fiscal year, registering a 108% and 16% growth respectively compared to the preceding year, the Iranian Steel Producers Association announced.