Economy, Business And Markets

Finished Steel Usage Grows 7% to Reach 15 Million Tons

Hot-rolled coil had the lion’s share of finished steel consumption, as it reached  6 million tons, up 7% YOY.Hot-rolled coil had the lion’s share of finished steel consumption, as it reached  6 million tons, up 7% YOY.

Iran’s apparent finished steel usage recorded a meager growth in the first nine months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Dec. 21, 2017) while consumption of semi-finished steel dropped.

The country used 15.21 million tons of finished steel during the period, up 7% year-on-year, according to the latest statistics published by Iran Steel Producers Association.

Hot-rolled coil had the lion’s share of finished steel consumption as it reached 6 million tons, up 7% YOY. It was followed by rebar with 4.26 million tons, down 13% YOY; cold-rolled coil with 2.25 million tons, up 32% YOY; coated coil with 1.38 million tons, up 34% YOY; beams with 661,000 tons, unchanged compared to last year’s corresponding period; and “other steel products” with 633,000 tons, up 91% YOY.

Semi-finished steel usage remained unchanged compared with last year’s corresponding period at 11.48 million tons.

Billet and bloom usage grew 4% to 5.9 million tons, while that of slab was down 3% to 5.52 million tons. Weak local demand for semis is expected to further boost exports in the coming months.

Iran’s steel usage has been on a downtrend for the past six years, highlighting the country’s ailing market and subdued demand. The country’s apparent steel per capita consumption stood at 238.7 kg of finished steel in 2016, 15% less than 265.2 kg in 2010, the World Steel Association reported.

The country’s total apparent steel usage followed the same trend, as it stood at 19.1 million tons in 2016, down nearly 9.5% compared to 21.1 million tons in 2011.

Direct-reduced iron usage followed suit, as it dropped 6% to 16.02 million tons. This is while exports for the same period surged 392% YOY to 517,000 tons. DRI production is also on the rise, reaching 16.53 million tons for the nine months, posting a 22% rise YOY.

The Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade is planning to boost Iran’s crude steel capacity to 55 million tons by 2025 and become the world’s sixth largest steelmaker. If the target is met, domestic demand needs to keep growing or the steel need to be exported.

Iran is among the world’s fastest growing steelmaking countries. According to WSA data, Iranian steel mills produced 19.74 million tons of steel during January-November 2017, up 20.6% YOY.

The country recorded the highest growth among all producers of 1 million tons per month and above during the 11-month period. Traditional rivals like Turkey and France were still lagging behind.

Iran is currently the world’s 13th largest steelmaker, placed between Ukraine (12th) with 19.89 million tons and Mexico (14th) with 18.25 million tons.

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