Iranian private steel mills to form export consortium

Iran is establishing a consortium of private re-rollers to boost exports of the product, said a member of the board of directors of Iranian Steel Producers’ Association (ISPA) and managing director of the country’s largest re-roller Kavir Steel Complex.

“Privately owned re-rollers have agreed to establish an exporting consortium or a cooperative company to integrate and facilitate the export of private producers’ production,” Ahmad Khorvash was quoted as saying by Platts.

“With the establishment of this consortium, we expect a boost the export of more valuable products, instead of crude steel.”

Most of Iran’s exports are billet and slab, although Esfahan Steel Co., or ESCO, recently announced its first rebar shipment into the UK. Rebar exports from Iran have traditionally gone into neighboring countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.

Iranian rebar exports have increased to 397,000 tons over April-December — up 98 percent from the same period of last year — according to ISPA. However, private rolling mills are working at well below installed capacity due to low demand in the domestic market.

More rebar is expected to be exported in the future.

“As a result of the deep recession in the domestic construction industry, the capacity of rebar is clearly more than consumption at the moment and exports could be the only solution,” a private re-roller told S&P Global Platts.

He estimated Iran’s nominal rebar capacity at around 20 million tons per year.