Bahador Ehramian, a board of directors member at the ISPA, said on Saturday that Iran’s steel output capacity had increased by more than six times in 20 years to reach a current figure of 45 million mt per year.

Ehramian said Iran’s steel output capacity will increase by more than 22% in the next two years.

He said more than a half of the current steel output in Iran is exported to other countries, adding that Iran seeks greater access to exports market as domestic demand for steel is expected to stay at a present level of 20 million mt per year in the coming years.

Iran has seen a major surge in its steel exports this year thanks to a ramp-up in domestic output and the tight international supplies caused by the war in Ukraine.

ISPA figures published in early September showed that exports of semi-finished steel from Iran had reached 3.093 million in the five months to August 22, up 24.8% from the same period in 2022.

Iran also increased its exports of steel sheets and long steel products by 15% year on year in March-August while overseas shipments of sponge iron rose by more than 232% over the same period to reach 0.708 million mt, according to the same figures.

The increased exports of steel from Iran come despite the fact that exporters and their foreign customers cannot access normal banking services because of US sanctions on the country.