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Iranian steel imports continue to fall

Release time:2018-08-24 10:54 Click:176

Iranian steel imports declined in the first four months of the current Iranian year (March 21–July 22), according to the Iranian Steel Producers' Association (ISPA). Iran imported 386,000 mt of steel, mainly flat products, down 51.8% on the previous year.

Finished steel imports totaled 370,000 mt, down 51%. The biggest product group -- hot-rolled coil up to 3mm thick -- saw 98,000 mt shipped into the country, which was down 68% on year. There were some 122,000 mt of cold-rolled coils imported (down 36% on year) and only 7,000 mt of HRC more than 3mm thick (down 90%).

In the four-month period, 16,000 mt of semi-finished products, including 15,000 mt of billet and 1,000 mt of slab, were imported. That was 167% more the same period last year.

Although Iran's steel trade is under the US secondary sanctions at the moment, a Dubai-based trader believes that this decline in imports is mainly due to domestic restrictions and increases in production, not US sanctions. "Import of some steel items -- both semi and finished products -- is banned by the government and other items are not on the import priority list" he said. "Import is very likely to be lower in the next month but will not stop."

The Iranian government has banned the import of some steel products, including billet (HS code 72045000) and some steel bars (HS code 72142000) from July and moreover.

According to Iranian media outlets, Russia and Kazakh steel producers have halted their exports of HRC to Iran, likely due to uncertainty in the lead-up to the re-imposition of secondary US sanctions.

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