Iranian steel production has dropped 50% over the past three months, reported on Saturday to the London edition of Iran International, citing sources at the Iranian Steel Association. The article says that the main problem for Tehran was a sharp decline in steel exports to Afghanistan and restrictions on the domestic market, which oblige domestic factories to first of all satisfy domestic demand, and make export supplies only from leftovers, depending on availability.
However, according to According to Worldsteel , the economic situation in Iran is improving, annual steel production increased by ten percent, and production growth exceeded China's by several percentage points.
Iran International believes that Iran may have deliberately distorted the information provided to Worldsteel for propaganda purposes. The World Association is not the only international group forced to rely on Iranian official figures. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in particular, are not present on the ground, and independent research groups are not permitted by the Islamic Republic to operate in the country.
Tehran wanted to demonstrate that Iran is withstanding the pressure of US sanctions, and its economy is beginning to stabilize. But so far this year there are signs of a worsening economic situation: the rial has lost 15% in recent weeks, inflation is rising and, especially, food price inflation is reaching three times the level, provoking labor disputes and social unrest.
Russia and China seem to be helping Iran's economy, but there hasn't been any significant Russian or Chinese investment in Iran since former US President Donald Trump pulled out of the Obama-era nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed tough sanctions on Tehran.
Iran has been experiencing severe power shortages for the past nine months as its subsidized energy drives up household spending, and illegal cryptocurrency mining combined with severe drought has made power plants unable to meet current demand.
According to Iran International, power outages hit Iran's steel industry hard and led, among other things, to a reduction in steel production.
In July, Hormozgan Steel CEO Ataolla Marufkhani told local media that the power outage had jeopardized the lives of steel workers and cost steelmakers in Hormozgan province $ 18 million in lost profits.
Production cuts have led to a shortage of supply and a rise in steel prices in Iran in recent months.