Wednesday, July 5, 2017

FOCUS: Is Iran the new China for steel billet? – Part 2

Juan Weik

META BULLETIN - July 05, 2017 
In this second segment of a two-part feature, Metal Bulletin looks at the implications of two cargoes of Iranian steel that encountered roadblocks into Southeast Asia, and what may lie ahead.

Shifting trends The fact that more Iranian cargoes are making their way to Southeast Asia shows that Iranian steelmakers have jumped on to the export bandwagon ever since the Middle Eastern country opened up to international trade early last year. The country shipped 5.53 million tonnes of steel products abroad during the Iranian year ended March 20, of which 3.74 million tonnes consisted of semi-finished products. It aims to increase its steel exports to 8 million tonnes in the current Iranian year, which ends on March 21, 2018. Meanwhile, China’s steel exports have been sliding on a year-on-year basis since the end of 2016 because of plans to cut capacity being pushed forward by the country’s central government and, more recently, a crackdown on mills that produce substandard steel. In January-May this year, China exported 34.19 million tonnes of finished steel – a steep fall of 26.1% from 46.28 million tonnes over the same period...