Syndey — The Iranian government has announced a new rule for steel and petrochemical exports with immediate effect, according to a directive issued by the Central Bank of Iran and seen by S&P Global Platts.
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According to the directive dated September 5, exporters of steel (including semi-finished, finished and downstream products) and petrochemical materials, must return all hard currency earned from overseas sales into the country within 60 days from the date of export.
A steel trader in Tehran said that considering the US restrictions imposed on Iran steel trade and banking transactions, the new regulation will make exporting even more difficult but it is not expected to reduce the export trend much.
"Iranian mills cannot change their export schedule because as a matter of fact, the total production of steel in the country is much more than domestic consumption and a portion of it -- about 30% -- should be exported in any case," he said.
Iran's main steel producers, excluding small private sector mills, exported 2.62 million mt of finished and semi-finished steel in the first four months of the Iranian year (March 21-July 21), according to statistics from Iranian mines and metals group Imidro, a 13% increase from the same period last year. Exports should increase to 15 million-20 million mt/year by 2025, according to the country's steel development plan.
--Reza Zaer, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Edited by Tom Balcerek, email@example.com