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Iran’s steel exports drop amid fierce competition with Russia

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)
Iran reports a 52% drop in steel exports in the month to late August as completion with Russia increases.

Iran has seen its steel exports drop by a significant amount in the calendar month to late August as a senior industry official blames the decline on a growing supply of cheap steel from Russia.

Figures provided in a Monday report by the official IRNA news agency showed that Iranian steel exports had fallen by 52%  year on year in the calendar month to late August to stand at just over 2.249 million metric tons.

An official from state metals and mining conglomerate IMIDRO said the drop in steel exports from Iran was mainly a result of Russia’s price dumping activities in the market.

Amir Sabbagh, who serves as IMIDRO’s head of economy and investment development, said the Russians have been supplying slab steel to the Asian markets at heavily dumped prices as they struggle to find new customers for steel shipments that used to be delivered to Europe

The United States and allies in Europe imposed a raft of economic sanctions on Russia in February after the country became involved in a war in neighboring Ukraine.

Sabbagh said, however, that Iran’s exports of billet steel had remained at high levels in August, adding that Iranian steelmakers had reported year on year increases in billet exports of up to 154% over the period.

He said Iran has been in talks with Russia to reduce competition between the two countries in markets where demand is high for slab steel.

The official said that Iranian steelmakers could replace Russian rivals in European markets if Iran and world powers agree to revive an international deal on Tehran's nuclear program which would lead to a lifting of American sanctions on Iran. 

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