Iran ranked as Middle East's top steel producer
World Steel Association says country's steel production reached 16.331 million tons last year 2014
Iran has been ranked as the biggest steel producer in the Middle East in 2014, according to a new report by the World Steel Association.
The country's steel production in 2014 increased by 5.9% compared with the same period in 2013, and reached 16.331 million tons, the report said.
Iran also ranked the 14th among major steel producing countries in the world. China was ranked in top spot followed by Japan, USA and India.
Earlier this month, head of Iran’s Steel Producers Association Bahram Sobhani said the country has a plan to turn certain ports on the rims of the Arabian Gulf and Sea of Oman into steel production hubs.
Sobhani said that some 1.33 million tons of steel were exported during the first three quarters of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-November 22), adding that coastal areas of the Arabian Gulf and the Sea of Oman would change into centres for steel production in a near future.
The bulk of Iran's steel exports go to neighbouring countries in the Middle East and north Africa. Iran was not barred from selling steel under sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union over its disputed nuclear programme but financial restrictions banning banks from processing payments for Iran deals have made trade difficult.
Iran plans to quadruple its steel production within the decade by boosting output to 55 million tons annually in 2025, with 10 million tons of that for the export market.