Policymakers and experts discussed a wide range of issues about Iran's steel market and its future during the inaugural ceremony of the 11th Iranian Steel and Iron Ore Market Conference and Expo, organized by Donya-e-Eqtesad Media Group, the parent company of Financial Tribune.
ISMC 2021, underway in Tehran on Feb. 22-24, aims to address key challenges of the Iranian steel industry, including those faced by exporters; domestic policies; pricing steel products in the local market; technological developments; and digital transformation, among others.
A majority of speakers at the Monday event emphasized the need for a shift in the government's price control policies, boosting production capacity to meet local demand and promoting the export of steel products with higher value added.
Alireza Bakhtiari, CEO and owner of Donya-e-Eqtesad Media Group, opened the conference by elaborating on the main goals of the annual event.
"Iran has been dealing with increased external pressure in recent years … External risks are being reduced. However, business activities might face another risk in the upcoming years, one that is imposed by policymakers," he said.
Bakhtiari said policies aimed at supporting consumers by controlling prices have gained no success.
He noted that by insisting on setting price caps, policymakers have lowered Iranian steel industry's competitiveness in international markets, making the sector less appealing to investors.
The government’s plan to intervene in the market and control steel prices has been hotly debated by steel manufacturers, capital market authorities and government officials.
Criticism mounted in recent weeks against a controversial decision last month by the Industries Ministry to set a price ceiling for steel products listed in the Iran Mercantile Exchange.
Industries Minister Alireza Razm-Hosseini announced a measure that calls for “steel products to be sold at IME at prices equivalent to 70% in the Commonwealth of Independent States markets.”
Source : https://financialtribune.com/articles/domestic-economy