Economy, Business And Markets

Iron Ore Exports to End in 2017

Iron Ore Exports to End in 2017Iron Ore Exports to End in 2017

Iran’s major holding company in the mining sector said it would end exports of iron ore by March 20, 2017, reported Fooladnews.

Mehdi Karbasian, the head of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO), expressed that with the country’s comprehensive steel plan being finalized, the entire domestically-produced iron ore would be consumed by Iranian producers of iron ore pellets and iron ore concentrate.

The comprehensive steel plan takes two decisive factors into account including the domestic steel production rate and the plans to process the iron ore.

The government, through IMIDRO and the Geological Survey of Iran, has started massive exploration operations across the country and will invite the private sector after performing the initial exploration operations, said Karbasian, who is also the deputy minister for industry, mine, and trade.

The high risk of exploration operations in the country afects the private sector and that is why the IMIDRO expects active participation of the private sector investors only after the estimation of resources and reserves reaches 50%.

Future explorations will supply the steel sector with new resources and the new mineral industries will revolutionize the economy by means of higher value added, higher employment rate, and the prevention of extra imports.

Iron ore, over the past few years, has been a cause for concern in the country’s steel sector. Iron ore has been among the hardest hit industrial commodities in Iran, with prices falling more than a 25 percent this year. After breaching $100 a ton in May for the first time since September 2012, prices fell as far as $89 in mid-June before recovering to $98 in July. Iron ore plunged 44% this year to a five-year low as surging supplies from Brazil’s Vale SA and BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group in Australia created a glut just as China’s economy slowed. The global surplus may more than double next year, according to Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ANZ).

Earlier this week, IMIDRO, as the biggest producer and exporter of iron ore in the country, said it had advised the ministry of industry, mine, and trade to liberalize iron ore prices, arguing that the prices should be liberalized in light of the substantial jump in iron ore prices during the past Iranian calendar year – which ended March 20, 2014.

The liberalization of prices would be favorably impressive and would also increase competition among the domestic producers, said Parva Soltani, the secretary of the 2nd international conference on iron ore, which is due to be held on November 30.