Iran Mercantile Exchange plans to start trading in domestically produced iron ore pellet and concentrate, IME Managing Director Hamed Soltani-Nejad said on Monday.
The IME also plans to trade imported iron ore in the future,” he added.
Iran’s iron ore imports were insignificant, however, though a market analyst said on Monday they were expected to grow as steel production capacity increases, S&P Global Platts reported.
“Golgohar, Iran’s largest iron ore miner, is the first company to be approved by IME for trading,” the company’s managing director, Nasser Taqizadeh, was quoted as saying on the exchange’s website.
“At this stage, a portion of Golgohar’s pellet and concentrated iron ore output will be traded on IME in lots of 50,000 tons [each], but in the next stage the company is going to trade sponge iron through IME.”
IME tried to launch trading in domestically produced iron ore in 2013, but was not successful owing to a lack of acceptance by the local steel industry, a market participant said on Monday.
“The domestic price of iron ore lump, concentrate, fines and pellet is determined by the government, based on the average price of billet trading on IME. Therefore, the iron ore price depends on the steel price,” he said.
“The floating of pellet and concentrated iron ore prices was expected to increase the production cost for the steel industry to some extent, but not immediately. It will not affect any of the current contracts between miners and steel producers.”
Iron ore concentrate had the biggest share in Iran’s mineral production during the first 10 months of the current fiscal year (March 21, 2017-Jan. 20) with 31.18 million tons, registering a 16% growth year-on-year.
Gologhar Mining and Industrial Complex accounted for 11.53 million tons of the total output, followed by Chadormalu Mining and Industrial Complex with 7.05 million tons, Iran Central Iron Ore Company with 4.11 tons, Goharzamin Iron Ore Company with 3.42 million tons, Middle East Mines and Mining Industries Development Holding Company with 3.32 million tons and Opal Parsian Sangan with 1.71 million tons.
The production of granulated iron stood at 5.34 million tons, up 6% YOY.
Pellet had the second largest share with a total output of 26.44 million tons, up 25% YOY. Golgohar was the largest producer with 9.17 million tons, followed by Mobarakeh Steel Company with 6.33 million tons, Khouzestan Steel Company with 5.37 million tons, Chadormalu with 2.89 million tons and MIDHCO with 2.68 million tons.
Iron ore exports during the period stood at 15.89 million tons worth $877 million. The volume of shipments dropped by 2% while its value rose 44% respectively YOY.
Founded in 2006, IME trades in agricultural, industrial and petrochemical products in the spot and futures markets. IME’s trade value stood at 817 trillion rials ($21.78 billion) during the previous fiscal year (March 2016-17), accounting for 6.5% of Iran’s gross domestic product.
Last year’s trade value outperformed Tehran Stock Exchange by more than 182 trillion rials ($4.85 billion).
According to Soltani-Nejad, IME trade value hit 1.03 quadrillion rials ($23 billion) during the first 11 months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Feb. 19), marking a 39% year-on-year growth and reaching an all-time high.
Commodity trade in the physical market accounted for 446.35 trillion rials ($9.91 billion) of the total figure, showing a 33% YOY growth. Trade value at IME’s derivative market grew 61% to 579.14 trillion rials ($12.86 billion).