Economy, Business And Markets

Steel Industry Stakeholders Meet to Set ISMC 2017 Agenda

Steel Industry Stakeholders Meet to Set ISMC 2017 Agenda
Steel Industry Stakeholders Meet to Set ISMC 2017 Agenda

Top Iranian government officials and steel industry players met at Financial Tribune’s headquarters in Tehran on Monday to devise the agenda and set the general outlook for the 7th Iranian Steel Market Conference (ISMC 2017), which is scheduled to be held in the capital city February 16-17, 2017. Domestic and foreign steel giants attend the annual conference that is hosted by Donya-ye Eghtesad Taban Co., the parent company of the Financial Tribune, every year.

Officials who were present at the Monday meeting included head of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization, Mehdi Karbasian; advisor to First Vice President Mostafa Mozaenzadeh; deputy minister of industries, mining and trade, Jafar Sargheyni; representatives of Iranian Iron Ore Producers and Exporters Association Ghadir Ghiafeh and Bahram Shakoori; head of Iranian Steel Producers Association, Rasool Khalife-Soltan; and head of Iran Mercantile Exchange Hamed Soltaninejad.

The three preliminary suggested themes of ISMC 2017 as discussed in the meeting include:

  • Competitiveness as a means to achieve sustained industry development;
  • Steel exports: Designating target markets and export products;
  • Forecasting the state of global and domestic iron ore and steel sectors in the upcoming year.

Prominent foreign participants at the upcoming event include managing partner and founder of World Steel Dynamics steel information and analytics service, Peter F. Marcus; chairman and CEO of the Italian Danieli Group, Gianpietro Benedetti; CEO of German SMS Group, Burkhard Dahmen; managing director of Austria’s INTECO, Roland Kristl; chief executive director of Spanish GRUPO SARRALLE, Elias Gonzalez Gil; and chairman of the Board of Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association, Namik Ekinci.

Addressing the meeting, Karbasian said giant Chinese, Japanese and European steelmakers are eying the Iranian steel sector, adding that the conference can help clear any doubts and worries about the Iranian market for potential investors, especially considering the rise of protectionism in global markets and the election of Donald Trump as the president of the US.

The official, who is also deputy minister of industries, mining and trade, underscored the necessity of bolstering exports and said that the government fully supports steel exporters. Iranian steelmakers are currently grappling with weak demand at home due to the slump in the construction sector. The government has set the ambitious goal of boosting crude steelmaking capacity to 55 million tons by the end of 2025, as stipulated by the 20-Year National Vision Plan (2005-25). “Boosting exports is a logical move and will be pursued,” Karbasian noted.

According to experts, the steel sector has to export at least 20 million tons of the 55 million crude steel target per year in order to sustain. Steel mills have so far materialized 31 million tons of the steel manufacture capacity target. They have also surpassed their last year’s export record (4.1 million tons) by shipping over 4.3 million tons in the eight months of current fiscal year to November 21.

Iran produced over 14.8 million tons of crude steel during the 10 months of 2016. The country’s last year output stood at 16.1 million tons.

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