Tehran, Iran, November 2
By Mehdi Sepahvand -- Trend:
With iron ore exports from Iran having radically diminished in recent years, the country sees no return to its former days, an Iranian mining and steel businessman has said.
While China has reduced its iron ore imports, Iran has virtually lost the once powerful market it firmly held, Bahador Ehramian, CEO of Yazd Rolling Mill Company and member of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce, Mines, and Trade, told Trend November 2.
He noted that in the past two years, Iran's iron ore exports fell from 20 million tons per year to 10 million tons.
In spite of its giant global economy, China has been demanding less iron ore in the past few months, due to its own economic problems.
Iran cannot be looking to the West to replace the Chinese market either, because the country has never exported iron ore to Western countries, Ehramian noted.
China was once the largest market for mid- and low-grade granulated Iranian iron ore.
Ehramian said that, as of today, many of Iran's more than 100 iron mines are closed due to reductions in exports.
Last week, iron ore hit its lowest price of the past three months on the international market. Metal Bulletin reported a $1 decline in Iran's iron ore price, as well.
Accordingly, grade-60 Iranian iron ore was sold at $48.97 per metric ton on October 28, though it had been sold at $50.15 one week earlier.
With the current situation, Iranian iron ore exports are expected to decline to seven million, or even five million tons per year, by 2018.
However, there is another reason behind the reduction, which is that the country is going to increase its steel production to 55 million tons per year in ten years, which will leave less iron ore for export, according to Jafari Tehran, international relations director at the Association for Iranian Iron Ore Producers and Exporters.
Over 8.202 million tons of crude steel was produced in Iran during the first half of the current Iranian fiscal year (March 21- Sept. 22), a fall of 1.8 percent year-on-year.
Iranian companies also produced 8.177 million tons of steel products during the 6-month period.
The Islamic Republic's crude steel output reached 16.33 million metric tons in 2014, with Iran being the 14th major crude steel producer in the world.