TEHRAN (Dispatches) – Iran’s Minister of Mine, Industry and Trade Alireza Razm-Husseini in a meeting with Iraqi Trade Minister Alaa Ahmed al-Jubouri on Wednesday said that his country will soon hit a plateau of 52 million tonnes in steel production, mine, industry and trade sectors.
The Islamic Republic has sought to boost the steel sector under its plan to increase non-oil revenues. It has succeeded in adding steel capacity which currently stands at 30 million tonnes a year, the minister said.
The country aims to export 20 to 25 million tonnes of steel annually by 2025 when it expects to hit the vision target of 55 million tonnes.
Iran Sets 35% Rise in Steel Exports in One Month
Meanwhile, the ministry in has reported that Iran exported 35 percent more of its steel products in the calendar month of Azar (November 21-December 20) period compared to the similar month in 2019, as the country restores trade of lucrative metals after months of decreased activity due to the coronavirus epidemic.
The report added, the steel exports had increased to over 0.721 million metric tons from November 21 to December 20, showing a 35% growth compared to the same period last year.
The 13 steel mills shipped more than 4.768 million tons of products over the nine- month period, a reduction of 13% compared to the similar period in 2019.
Steel billet exports from Iran surged by more than 500 percent in the same month while mills continued to ship higher volumes of wires and patterned hot-rolled coils compared to the initial nine months of 2019.
However, political and logistical hurdles are high and the sector has had to battle the headwinds of the most intensive U.S. sanctions unleashed in May 2019 when Washington targeted Tehran’s export revenues from its industrial metals.
At the time, President Donald Trump put world nations on notice against allowing Iranian steel and other metals into their ports, saying it would no longer be tolerated.
The steel sector accounts for 10 percent of Iran’s export economy, but it is largely insulated from the effects of the sanctions because it does not depend on foreign technology. Officials saying the zero to 100 of a steel mill can now be designed and built in the country.
Moreover, there is a buoyant domestic market where more than 50 industries in Iran are linked to the construction industry which uses steel as a basic ingredient.
Steel is also the key component in Iran’s automotive industry which is the largest in the Middle East and North Africa. Iran further has a massive oil and gas profile and a sprawling transportation and water supply network that feeds on its domestic metal industry.
Iran ranks 10th among the steel producers in the world based on the volume of output.
Iran Seeking to Boost Trade with Iraq to $20bn
Razm-Husseini said his country is intent to increase the annual volume of trade with Iraqi to $20 billion, noting that Iranian goods comprise 25% of the market demand in Iraq.
"Iran seeks to expand and deepen trade ties with neighbors to boost the export level,” he said, adding that Iraq ranks first on exporting Iranian products to neighboring countries.
"Iran will reach production capacity of over 52 million tons of steel in the near future, and in the next four years it will be among the top 10 copper producers in world,” the minister said.
Iraqi Minister of Trade Alaa Ahmed al-Jubouri, for his part, called for the development of trade ties between the two countries, especially in the barter trade.
"The trade balance of Iran and Iraq is high, which is a positive field for the interests of the two countries, Jubouri said, stressing the necessity of holding different exhibitions to offer products directly.
He stressed that Iraq is Iran’s second largest trade partner after China.
Iraqi Minister of Trade Alaa Ahmed al-Jubouri arrived in Tehran on Monday at the head of a delegation to attend the 4th Iran-Iraq Joint Economic Commission.