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Iran's Esfahan Steel ready to export to Qatar, returns to EU market

Time:2017-06-14
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Iran's prime construction steel producer Esfahan Steel Co, or Esco, is ready to export long steel products to Qatar, the company's deputy managing director for sales and marketing Ehsan Dashtianeh told S&P Global Platts Monday.

"Qatar needs a considerable amount of steel products for its major development plans which were being partly supplied from the UAE and Saudi Arabia," Dashtianeh said.

"However, importing from these countries is now banned ... Esco is ready to supply Qatar's needs for construction steel products including heavy sections if the [diplomatic] crisis continues," he said.

Esco has also recently returned to the EU market after a hiatus of about 10 years, with a 2,000-mt trial shipment of I-beams in two lengths: 12 and 18 meters, Dashtianeh said.

"Compared with our total exports, it is a very small trial shipment to test the market but we will increase our exports to Europe in future," he added.

Esco also plans to start regular exports of pig iron to Europe.

"Domestic demand is our priority. However, we expect to export some 40% of the company's output which will be about 1 million mt in the current Iranian year [to March 20, 2018]," he said.

Esco exported some 700,000 mt of various products in the previous Iranian year ended March 20, 2017.

Esco is the only Iranian steel producer to use blast furnaces, of which it has three. One, with a capacity of 1 million mt/year, is idle because of low demand in the domestic market.

The company however, announced in April that it planned to restart production at the idled blast furnace within two months.

Esco started up a new rail and heavy sections mill in 2016 in order to meet domestic demand and also increased its casting capacity to 3.6 million mt/year.

The company is currently not a supplier of steel products to Qatar. A portion of Qatar's requirement of cold-rolled and hot-rolled flat steel products is met by Mobarakeh Steel Company, Iran's largest steel producer.


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