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Iran Steel Production Increases Despite US Sanctions

IRAN -- Steel ingots on a production line at the Iran Alloy Steel Company in the city of Yazd, April 6, 2015

In its latest monthly report, the World Steel Association (WSA) says that Iran's crude steel production in the first eight months of 2020 grew by more than eleven percent to 18.6 million tons.

The growth has occurred against the fact that in May 2019, the United States imposed sanctions on Iran's metals sector, including its steel, which adds billions of dollars to the country's coffers.

According to the Trade and Development Organization of Iran, the export of iron and its alloys amounted to about $3.9 billion and copper products to about $700 million in 2018.

Iran has also exported more than $840 million worth of iron ore.

However, Iran has not released details of its exports since the beginning of last year, and it is unclear the current state of those exports.

"Due to the ongoing difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of this month's figures are estimates that may be revised with next month's production update," WSA reported on Thursday.

MIMT, Iran's Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Trade, also released a monthly report on Thursday, showing that the country's crude steel production in the first five months of the Iranian Calendar year (beginning March 20) increased by 8 percent compared with the same period last year and reached 11.4 million tons.

The manufacturing of steel products also increased by nearly 7 percent to about 9.5 million tons.

Based on the WSA report, global production in the first eight months of this year fell by 4.2 percent to nearly 1.2 billion tons due to the coronavirus outbreak. Still, production in August was slightly higher than in August last year.

The growth is the result of an increase in Chinese steel production following the lessening of coronavirus quarantine restrictions last month.

With 94.8 million tons of crude steel in August 2020, and an increase of 8.4% compared to August 2019, China alone accounts for more than half of the world's crude steel production.

World crude steel production for the 64 countries reporting to the World Steel Association was 156.2 million tons in August 2020, a 0.6% increase compared to August 2019.

Iran's crude steel production had also increased by 30 percent in 2019, while the average global growth in this sector stood at 3.5 percent.

The country managed to produce 31.9 million tons of crude steel during 2019, while the figure was 24 million tons in 2018.

According to the WSA, Iran became the world's tenth-largest steel producer in 2018.

Last month, a board member of the Iranian Steel Producers Association (ISPA) told Iran's official news agency, IRNA, that the country could export 15 million tons of steel per year.