‘US sanctions on Iranian metals won’t hurt exports’

An executive order by Donald Trump about sanctioning exports of several Iranian metals will have very little impact and is nothing new for the Iranian producers.

Ali Dashti

12 May 2019
ID : 21966
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The US’ Wednesday sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, copper and aluminum exports are nothing new and won’t have a huge impact on the country’s exports and forex revenues, according to officials, steelmaking and mining sources.

The recently-sanctioned Iranian industries will continue their exports to neighbouring countries in the Middle East and North Africa, officials say.

“Iran’s copper industries was sanctioned in the first phase of punitive measures and we will find our path,” Mohsen Bazarnavi, financial and economic affairs deputy at the National Iranian Copper Industries Company was cited by Minews as saying on Saturday. He was referring to the secondary sanctions since August 2018 on supply and trade of steel, aluminum, graphite and coal with Iran.

“Neighbouring and regional countries still need Iranian steel, so the exports chain will not come to a hold,” said Seyed Bahador Ahramian, vice president of Iranian Steel Producers on Friday.

On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to impose more sweeping sanctions on Iran's iron, steel, aluminum and copper sectors which he described as "the regime's largest non-petroleum related sources of export revenue." However, such exports account for only 10% of Iran’s non-oil exports, according to the latest figures published by Iran.

According to Keyvan Jafari Tehrani, an expert in Iran’s steel and mine industries, the US sanctions’ are only a “threat” because “it’s very hard to implement them as not all of the export destinations of Iranian steel protect the US interests”.

An official at the industry, mine and trade ministry of Iran confirms analyses that sanctions will not be able to take a toll on the country’s steel industry because of their high quality. “During the last year even after the US withdrawal from the JCPOA, the exports of Iranian metals didn’t even reduce but also increase,” he added.

Trump’s executive order to slap sanctions on Iranian metals will yield very few results if any because SMEs make up the bulk of clients of Iranian steel and copper, wrote Amin Sabbagh in his Telegram channel Commodities.

He believes that majority of Iranian steel and copper producers are private companies that can skirt sanctions more easily.

“Maybe one of the most important effects of such sanctions be the fact that Iranian producers will need to sell their commodity at a lower price as well as pay higher shipment costs,” added the analyst.

The sanctions, however, have caused some concern for the Iranian galvanisation industries that could be affected as a possible reduction of production. “Well, it’s not good news. I have nothing to say. It’s no good,” Iranian Galvanization Industries Association Nasrollah Rahnama told Iran Chamber Newsroom.

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