Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.2 /Trend F.Milad/
Iran has produced 10 million tons of steel ingot in the first eight months of current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 20.
The figure shows 9.6 percent increase compared to the same period previous year, the Mehr News Agency reported.
Iranian Industries, Mines and Trade Minister Mehdi Qazanfari said on October 28 that Iran will soon become a steel ingots exporter after the launch of several steel projects, which are currently under construction, Fars reported.
"Iran will become a steel ingots exporter in future," Qazanfari said at the inauguration ceremony of industrial and development projects in Bandar Abbas in Southern Hormozgan province.
He noted that the production capacity in the field of industries and mines hit six million tons in the last few months.
Qazanfari said Iran ranks 17th in the world in terms of steel production.
The Iranian minister said at present the country's steel production capacity is 20 million tons.
Iran is among the 15 major mineral-rich countries and exports its industrial and mineral products to 159 countries, including Iraq, China, the United Arab Emirates, India and Afghanistan.
According to a recent report by the World Steel Association, Iran produced 13 million tons of steel in 2011 and an eye-catching growth is expected in Iran's steel production this year.
Meantime, the report said that Iran was the 16th steel producer in the world in September with a production of 1.09 million tons.
In June, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that Iran's steel production should reach 48 million tons in the next 4 or 5 years.
Earlier this year, an Iranian official announced that the production of steel in Iran has grown by 5 million tons in the past two years despite the harsh sanctions imposed by the West against the country.
"Despite the intensified sanctions during the last two years, the capacity of Iran's steel production has increased by 5 million tons and we will be completely self-sufficient in the steel industry in the next three years," Vice-President of Iran's Steel Association Hamidreza Taherizadeh told FNA in July.