Economy, Business And Markets

Steel Imports Up 33%

Steel Imports Up 33%Steel Imports Up 33%

Iranian Steel Producers Association (ISPA) announced Saturday that steel import has increased by 33 percent in the first half of the current Iranian year (March 21-September 22), compared to the same period last year, reported IRNA.

The report also indicated a 3 percent hike in steel production within the same period. Moreover, Iranian steel manufacturers recorded a remarkable increase of 40 percent in steel export.

The new data comes as stagnation continues to hurt the domestic steel industry. The price of the steelmaking raw material has dramatically fallen, dragged down by weakening demand from China and a slowdown in other emerging markets, such as Brazil and Russia.

Steel price has been stable in the local market, although the expenditures have increased. The ISPA report said that electricity prices climbed 25 percent, and natural gas prices hiked by 80 percent. In addition, workers in the industry got a 25 percent pay raise in the same period.

The new report said that the end selling prices, with regard to the volume of production and the production costs for steel factories, increased between 15 to 25 percent within the current year, though sales price didn't go up.

The report pointed to Iraq, with over 3 million tons of annual demand for steel, as a good target for Iranian steel exporters. In addition, Afghanistan has been mentioned as another big potential customer for Iranian-made steel products. The report stated that, despite the prevailing slump in the market, as well as China's dumping policies, these neighboring markets should be considered as targets for increasing exports.  

Steel consumption has been always an important indicator to distinguish developed countries. This ratio in developed countries is between 230 to 340 kg per capita on an annual basis, while for Iran, statistics put the number at 234 kg per capita.