Economy, Business And Markets

Steelmakers Slam Low Quality Imports

Steelmakers Slam Low Quality ImportsSteelmakers Slam Low Quality Imports

The managing director of a major steel producer criticized the low quality of imported steel products, calling on the government to impose higher tariffs on steel imports, reported Fooladnews on Sunday.

Concerns were first raised about some low-quality steel imports after an incident on November 10 in the city of Qom in which a part of an under-construction bridge collapsed and injured at least 15 passers-by. Esfahan Steel Company’s Ardeshir Mohammadi urged the officials to explain the reasons behind the incident.

The ESC director asserted that his company is adhering to international quality standards in steel production, because of the ‘intense competition’ in the market.

“China currently produces between 67 and 70 million metric tons of crude steel and if Iran imports only 1 million metric tons of it every month, the domestic steel industry would reach the end of the line”, said Mohammadi, calling for a raise in steel import tariffs.

The issue of imported steel from China and India was raised following reports that India had proposed Iran import steel in exchange for part of the oil money New Delhi owes Tehran. The reports, which were later denied by the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation (IMIDRO), had it that the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) had proposed a payment mechanism to potentially open a new way to release oil export proceeds tied up in India under western sanctions against Iran’s economy.

“The government can adopt floating policies and curb the price hikes and inflation. The government can either take action against those producers who sell steel above the official prices or just accelerate imports if prices continue to soar,” said Mohammadi in response to the question whether imposing higher tariffs for imported steel products would inflict extra costs on the construction sector and consequently increase inflation.

He further said if there is a need for higher import tariffs, the government should act promptly and make appropriate decisions rather than waiting for the steelmakers to protest and make repeated requests.

Following the unprecedented stagnation in the domestic steel market last year, which put many steel manufacturing plants on the verge of closing, several major steelmakers now have raised the alarms, demanding the administration raise tariffs for imported steel. Steel manufacturers, who have been hit badly two years by an economic downturn in the housing sector, have so far held a number of meetings with the officials at the ministry of industry, mine, and trade.