TEHRAN: Mobarakeh Steel Company, a major steel firm in Iran, has been importing the products that it is supposed to produce, a shift of function that indicates serious problems in the steel industry in the country. According to a document seen by Trend, the company has imported some amount of 2mm-thick steel sheets and is now looking for customers in Iran to buy it, Trend correspondent reported February 12.
The amount of the imported steel sheets was not mentioned in the document, which only indicated that the customers could be among the producers of steel pipes and profiles. The document said Mobarakeh had imported the sheets as part of efforts to accomplish its function to supply the domestic market. It was announced in January that the government had been forced to reduce tariffs on steel sheet imports because domestic producers were unable to function. On the other hand, major Iranian producers, most of which enjoying other-than-private influence, had started to export their products instead of delivering them to the domestic market.
Criticism over the situation grew so tense that private sector associations had recently addressed President Hassan Rouhani in a letter to do something about it. In their letter, the authors had complained that the darling, supposedly production companies had been selling raw material overseas for very low prices. They had added that some thousands of downstream companies were in favor of lifting tax exemptions for raw material exports.