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Iran’s H1 steel exports soar amid drop in domestic use

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian steel exports soar to record levels in six months to late September amid fall in domestic demand.

Iran’s exports of steel increased significantly half way through the calendar year starting March as steelmakers earmarked lower supplies to the domestic market, shows a report.

The Sunday report by the ISNA news agency showed that steel shipments supplied to foreign buyers in the six months to September 22 had increased across the board for various products.

The report cited figures by the Iranian Steel Producers Association (ISPA) showing that the steel output supplied to the domestic market had dropped by 16% compared to March-September 2020.

The domestic supply of steel ingot dropped by 24% to just over 9.5 million metric tons over the same period while the amount of sponge iron, or what is technically known as DRI, supplied to the domestic buyers had dropped by 8% to 14.11 million tons, showed the ISPA figures.

Exports of steel ingots from Iran had risen by 36% in the six months to late September while overseas shipments of bars and sheet metals had increased by 71% and 62%, respectively, said the report.

It added that Iran’s DRI supply to foreign customers had surged by 287% half way through the calendar year.

The report said that Iranian steelmakers seemed to have prioritized exports in the second quarter of the current calendar year to compensate for losses suffered over the summer because of forced power cuts in their plants.

The Iranian government imposed brief outages on steel and cement manufacturers starting July to prevent recurrent power cuts in large cities.

However, the measure caused a major decline in steel output in several large plants across the country while causing prices hikes for certain products in the domestic market.

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