Iran’s mining and trade ministry has revised export duty tariffs following tenders concluded by mills at lower prices amid a lack of demand. Tariffs have been revoked completely for rebar and hot rolled coil, and reduced for billet to 2%, slab to 5%, and iron ore concentrate to 5%, Kallanish understands.

According to market sources, billet tenders by Arfa Steel and Sisco Steel are expected to be announced this week at $575-580/tonne fob Iran amid low interest.

"Demand is insufficient and de facto prices for billets are lower than mills’ expectations of $600/t fob. Although mills have announced small-quantity sales for 3,000-5,000 tonnes at $600-610/t fob, destined to Persian Gulf countries, large-quantity sales are being concluded [only] at $590/t fob, for Southeast Asian markets,” an Iranian market source observes.

By revising the duties, authorities are responding to weak steel demand in Iran by ensuring Iranian material stays competitive on export markets, with competition particularly intense from Russian material at present.

Iranian rebar for the Iraqi and other export markets is heard hovering at $660-670/t fob Iran, as mills aim to induce interest. Also, Russian hot rolled coil through the Caspian Sea route is being offered at $750/t cfr Iran.