TEHRAN - Head of the Iron Ore Association of Iran (IROPEX) Mehrdad Akbarian has said that the country has cut its iron ore exports to almost zero in nearly a decade amid a major expansion in domestic steel manufacturing that has led to an increase in demand for ore.
Akbarian said on Thursday that iron ore exports had dropped to almost zero from more than 20 million metric tons (mt) recorded in 2013.
Akbarian said the major drop in iron ore exports from Iran has come despite the fact that the country had more than doubled its production to 100 million mt in 2022.
“One reason for this could be that we have made a good progress in the steel sector over these years and mining industries including concentrate and pellet producers have significantly expanded their capacities,” Akbarian was quoted as saying by the IRIB News.
He said the entire supply of magnetic iron ore produced inside Iran is currently delivered to domestic customers unlike a decade ago when a bulk of the output used to be exported.
Iran has seen a major expansion in its mining and metals sector since 2018 when the country introduced economic diversification policies to offset the impacts of American sanctions on its oil exports.
Industry sources said last month that Iran had moved up three places in the global ranking of top steel producers to seventh position in November with a total output of 2.9 million mt.
The same sources said that Iran’s steel output had increased by 8.5% year on year in November despite a 3.7% average decline reported in the global steel production.