Economy, Business And Markets

Growth in Alumina Imports to Spur Domestic Aluminum Industry

Growth in Alumina Imports to Spur Domestic Aluminum IndustryGrowth in Alumina Imports to Spur Domestic Aluminum Industry

The lifting of sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear energy program enabled Iranian aluminum producers to increasingly embark on the import of alumina, the primary raw material required for aluminum production.

According to the Iranian Syndicate of Aluminum Industries, this can pave the way for Iranian manufacturers to cut down on their production costs and increase their competitive edge in international markets.

Head of ISAI Hooshang Goudarzi said talks are currently underway with five alumina exporting countries to sign long-term import contracts which, if successful, will allow Iranian companies to purchase the raw material for about $100 cheaper than their current sources, ISNA reported.

Australia could be one of Iran’s primary sources of alumina. The country lifted sanctions on Iran back in February and freed bauxite and alumina exports to Iran.

Iran is a net buyer of alumina and has historically favored shipments from Australia. In recent years, Iran has also often paid substantial premiums for Indian alumina.

The cutback in production costs and finished prices is crucial to bolstering the aluminum industry’s standing in global markets, as according to Goudarzi, the high price of downstream aluminum products prevents them from competing with foreign offerings overseas.

“This has limited Iran’s aluminum export portfolio to just ingots,” he said.

Almahdi and Iran aluminum companies, two of Iran’s largest aluminum plants, manufactured 53,046 tons of aluminum ingots during the first two months of the current Iranian year (March 20-May 20), which indicates a 2% drop compared to last year’s corresponding period.

Located in Hormozgan Province, Almahdi Aluminum Company accounted for 27,301 tons of the overall figure, followed by IRALCO’s 25,745-ton output.