Iran has seen a major surge in its exports of semi-finished steel this year amid a ramp-up in domestic manufacturing activity.
The Iranian Steel Producers Association (ISPA) said on Tuesday that exports of semi-finished steel from the country had increased by 24.8% year on year in the five months to August 22 to reach a total of 3.093 million metric tons (mt).
Semi-finished steel products are ingots known as billet, blooms and slab which are used in steel mills to manufacture finished steel products.
ISPA figures showed that total domestic production of semi-finished steel in Iran had reached over 13 million mt over the five months to late August.
The ISPA said Iran’s exports of steel sheets and long steel products had also increased by 15% over March-August without mentioning the exact volume of the shipments.
Exports of sponge iron, or what is known technically as direct reduced iron (DRI), reached 0.708 million mt in the five months to late August, up by more than 232% compared to the same period last year, showed the figures.
The major surge in Iranian steel exports come as steel mills in the country have ramped up their output to respond to a growing demand for the metal in the domestic manufacturing sector.
The increased output has also enabled Iran to respond to the rise in regional and global demand for steel amid a war in Ukraine that has affected supply chains.
That comes as Iranian steel producers were facing restrictions in their access to electricity this summer.
Figures by the World Steel Association released this week showed that Iran had produced 18.1 million mt of steel in the seven months to July, up 4.1% compared to the same period in 2022.