Iranian crude steel production grew 10% on-year in the Iranian year through 19 March 2020 to 27.2 million tonnes, according to Iranian Steel Producers’ Association data seen by Kallanish. Finished steel output rose 6% to 20.2mt and direct reduced iron production increased 6% to 28mt.

Billet production grew 18% last year to 16.8mt, while slab output growth was slower to 10.4mt.

Long steel output increased 6% to 10.2mt, with rebar accounting for 8.3mt and sections for 1.1mt.

Merchant flat steel production rose 5% to 9.96mt. Overall hot rolled sheet output – including product that was later further processed – reached 8.2mt, cold rolled coil production was 2.6mt and coated sheet output was 1.6mt.

With DRI output growing slower than crude steel production last year, Iran experienced a DRI shortage, the association says.

The association will publish its steel foreign trade and consumption data in the coming days.

In the 11 months through 19 February 2020 Iranian semi-finished product exports rose 42% on-year to 6.35mt but finished steel apparent consumption declined -3% to 13.94mt (see Kallanish passim). Last week Iranian Ghadir Iron & Steel managing director Asadollah Farshad criticised the imposition by Iran of a 10% duty on DRI exports as it restricts DRI producers' access to foreign currency used for investment.