Therefore, Metal Bulletin is proposing to launch an assessed price for Iranian export steel slab on January 10
In the first half of the current Iranian year (March 21-Sept. 22, 2017), slab export volumes almost tripled year-on-year to 1.6 million tonnes, according to the Iranian Steel Producer’s Association.
This pushed Iran into the world’s top three slab exporters following CIS and Brazil.
Over the 12 months of the current Iranian year (up to March 21, 2018) Iran is targeting exports of 5.30 million tonnes of semi-finished products, with around 35% falling to slabs, according to the market participants.
One of the reasons for the increase in slab export volumes was the massive capacity expansion at the country’s largest steelmaker, Mobarakeh Steel, and its subsidiaries.
Mobarakeh Steel’s total slab production capacity is currently 10.30 million tonnes and is expected to rise to almost 12 million tonnes in early 2020.
In November 2016, the company added a 1.80 million-tpy continuous casting machine at its main plant located in Esfahan province, thereby increasing its annual slab production capacity to 7.20 million tonnes.
In April 2017, the producer also doubled its slab capacity at its subsidiary Saba Steel, to 1.60 million tonnes.
Another of Mobarakeh Steel’s subsidiaries, Hormozgan Steel Co (Hosco) currently has the capacity to produce 1.50 million tpy of slab, and is expected to double this by the beginning of 2020.
Considering that the local market for slabs in Iran is relatively small, the balance of slabs is anticipated to be funneled to the export market.