Domestic Economy

ISMC 2016 to Address Steel Industry Challenges

ISMC 2016 to Address Steel Industry Challenges ISMC 2016 to Address Steel Industry Challenges

Considering the complexity and importance of the current situation for the steel and iron ore industry, there needs to be an exchange of thoughts among industrial players, international experts and government officials.

The Sixth Iranian Steel Market Conference (ISMC 2016), annually hosted by the Financial Tribune’s sister newspaper Donya-e-Eqtesad and scheduled for February 16-17 in Tehran, serves that end, says the conference manager, Mohsen Parvan.

Parvan told the Tribune that the event is aimed at analyzing and forecasting the market’s future and steel and iron ore prices in 2016.

Steel producers around the world are in for a bumpy ride and Iran’s growing steel industry is no exception.

The widespread recession and the nose-diving iron ore and steel prices have troubled and nearly driven many small iron ore mines and steel producers out of business.

The only short-term solution to this crisis in Iran is imposing high import tariffs on iron ore and steel. However, experience shows the government is not very interested in doing so, nor will high import tariffs guarantee that Iran’s steel industry will do good in the long run.

During the past two years, the recession dominating global markets, especially in the construction sector, brought about a steep drop in steel prices, which is widely expected to continue on to 2016, Parvan added.

About 92 million tons of steel were exported by China in 2014 and considering the steel behemoth’s production during the first eight months of 2015, this figure is expected to reach 130 million tons by the end of 2015 and exceed 150 million tons in 2016.

Meanwhile, Australian Rio Tinto Company’s iron ore production has recently increased following the discovery and exploitation of an iron ore mine with 55 million tons of iron ore reserves, according to Rio Tinto’s reports released at the 15th International China Steel and Raw Materials Conference held in September.

The Brazilian Vale SA is also set to boost its iron ore production by 20 million tons by the end of 2015 through further exploitation of Carajas Mine–the largest iron ore mine in the world located in northern Brazil–and reach an annual production figure of 340 million tons.

What this all means is that in 2016, at least 150 million tons of cheap steel are expected to be dumped by China to disrupt steel markets around the world, especially in the Persian Gulf region, Parvan warned.

Furthermore, at least 120 million tons of excess granulated iron ores will flood the markets, effectively extending the downward trend of iron ore prices. In fact, the impact of this process can already be felt around the world, especially in the Middle East, during the final months of 2015.

For more information on ISMC 2016, visit