Iran’s monthly crude steel production up 3.8% yr/yr despite U.S. sanctions

June 25, 2019

TEHRAN- Production of crude steel in Iran rose 3.8 percent in May 2019 from May 2018, according to the World Steel Association (WSA)’s report.

The WSA put the country’s crude steel output at 2.235 million tons in May of this year, rising from 2.153 million tons in May of last year, despite the U.S. sanctions on the country’s metals, Tasnim news agency reported.

In an attempt to [as the U.S. president Trump put it] “choke off the country’s largest non-petroleum related sources of export revenue", Washington imposed new sanctions on Iran's metals and minerals sectors in early May.

While at the first glance [considering Trump’s comments], this might seem to be a heavy hit to Iran’s economy in the near future but a close look into the country’s exports data could reveal Trump’s great miscalculations. In fact, this could even be considered a “blessing in disguise” for the country’s minerals and metal industry.

In a press conference on June 8, Iranian deputy industry, mining and trade minister said the ministry has taken necessary measures to maintain the country’s metal exports despite U.S. sanctions.

“We have established a special working group in the ministry which is closely assessing the situation and making necessary arrangements to mitigate the impact of U.S. sanctions,” Jafar Sarqini told the Tehran Times in the press conference.

The official noted that it is expected for the exports from the country’s mining sector to, at least, reach the last year’s $8.5 billion by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 2020).

Also, during a meeting with the members of Iran Steel Association on Sunday, Iranian Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Rahmani said the country has achieved a proper self-reliance in steel industry.

Steel industry is one of the industries in which some good investment has been made and today it has become a production advantage, the minister further underscored.

Meanwhile, Jafar Sargini said on Saturday that Iran’s annual steel production is planned to reach 45 million tons by the Iranian calendar year 1400 (March 2021-March 2022).

Referring to the sanctions, the official said, “All those who have imposed sanctions against Iran aim to destroy he country’s production capabilities; therefore, the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade prefer that the steel producers focus first on production and in this due development projects with the physical progress of over 70 percent will also help achieve this target.”

On June 15, the official had announced that the country’s annual crude steel production is planned to reach 30 million tons in the current Iranian calendar year.

He put Iran’s crude steel production at 25 million tons in the past year.

Sarqini had also announced that Iran will inaugurate steel projects with the capacity of at least 10 million tons during the current Iranian calendar year.

According to World Steel Association, Iran became the world’s tenth largest steel producer in 2018.

Iran which stood at the 13th place in 2017 could lag behind three major steel producers in the world, namely Italy, Taiwan, and Ukraine to stand at the 10th place in 2018, despite the re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S.

According to the WSO’s report, Iran produced 25 million tons of crude steel in 2018 which indicates 17.7 percent growth from 21.2 million tons in 2017.

MA/MA