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MSC official: Access to global markets key to salvation of industry

The 15th International Exhibition of Metallurgy (Steel, Mining and Mineral Industry, Casting, Non-Ferrous Metals Industry, Refractories, Related Projects and Valves) dubbed as IRAN METAFO brought together as many as 250 domestic and foreign companies involved in the steel industry and related sectors.
In the event which was held on Tehran International Fairground (December 2-5, 2018) Mobarakeh Steel Company (MSC), Hormozgan Steel Company, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Automotive Sheets Company, Kashan Amirkabir Steel Company, Sangan Mining Industries Co. (SMIC), Foolad Sang Mining and Industrial Company, Metil Steel Company and Tuka Steel Investment Co. had a strong presence, and along with other participants, introduced their untapped potential and displayed their achievements.  
In the course of the exhibition, acting president of the Iranian Mines and Mining Industries Development and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) Jamshid Molarahman and Deputy Minister of Industries, Mines and Trade for economic and commercial affairs Abbas Ghobadi paid a visit to MSC pavilion and held talks with its senior managers.
On the sidelines of the event, director of MSC’s Public Relations Office Mohammad Nazemi Harandi told reporters that US plots to throw economic obstacles in Iran’s way have taken a new twist, adding on top of the oil industry, the steel sector is being targeted by US sanctions.
He went on to say in light of US restrictions, the country has made the necessary preparations to undo the sanctions, adding the steel industry is unconcerned and finds solace in the knowledge that US measures will have little impact on Iran’s steel trade.
He said US sanctions have created some problems for Iran in meeting its domestic needs and shipping its exports overseas, but these slight problems can hardly darken the outlook for the steel industry, adding we need to add momentum to the country’s industrial development drive.
“Some sanctions-related problems such as the supply of machinery and raw material were predictable. To address such a challenge, we tried to stockpile the materials the company needs for a certain period of time so that the production does not come to a halt should the country is denied such material due to sanctions,” he said.
As for possible challenges for steel exports, he said experts at MSC exports, procurement and finance departments adopt efficient policies and make planning for risk-free exports so that the money MSC earns from its exports can be absorbed by the company.     
The official downplayed reports that steel is in short supply for downstream industries in the country and said, “By and large, Mobarakeh Steel Company, together with other steelmakers, meets domestic need. No doubt, all producers are trying their best to satisfy domestic demand in line with our national interests.”
Harandi said the construction sector which consumes part of MSC products is in a slump, adding the downstream industries too are facing challenges thanks to US obstructionism. “It is quite natural for key industries such as steelmaking, which are grappling with challenges, to seek to work out solutions to their problems. Export is the key solution here.”
He further said when an imbalance exists between steel production and domestic need, the country faces a challenge targeting its steel production capacity. “In other words, the country has raised its production over the years with an eye to exports. Now exports are in the grips of internal and external restrictions, with the domestic market glutted with steel surplus.”
At a time when US measures are interfering with Iran’s exports, we are not expected to throw obstacles in the way of steel exports, he said, adding industries can make it out if they are given access to global markets.
The head of MSC’s Public Relations Office expressed hope the government and policymaking bodies help out the industry, adding, nevertheless, we do not expect the government to handle our responsibilities.
The steel industry has huge potential, he said. “There are some policies which take a toll on the industry or slow down the industrial momentum. We hope the Government of Hope and Prudence makes policies based on consultation with industrialists and those involved in the industry sector in critical conditions, something which sets the stage for industries to climb out of recession.”

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