Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran
Iran's crude steel output grew by 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year, making the country the largest producer in the Middle East and Africa, according to the World Steel Association.
Iran produced some 3.6 million tons of crude steel in the first three months of the year, placing it above major producers such as China, India, Germany, Italy, Spain and Russia in terms of growth rate, the report added.
The Industry, Mine and Trade Ministry has given permission for the production of up to 90 million tons of steel products this year, which began on March 20, Deputy Minister Vajihollah Jafari said.
He was quoted on April 13 by IRNA news agency as saying that since 2004 the administration has significantly supported investments in the steel sector.
Jafari said on April 9 that crude steel output is projected to reach 55 million tons by 2025.
Crude steel output stood at 12.7 million tons last year, he said, adding that Iran also produced some 16 million tons of steel products.
Iran will become one of the world's main steel exporters by March 2016, Industry, Mine and Trade Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari said in May 2011.
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