Thursday, 28 January 2016

Iranian steel: bad news for Tata

My first reaction when I heard that Iran had signed a deal with Italy for steel was: why not in South Wales? A few web searches revealed that the reports in the main-stream media here were misleading in their brevity. What President Souhani presided over on his shopping trip to Italy was not steel per se but machinery to update Iran's existing steel plants. It has now been reported that a South Korean-based company is about to sign up as an investor in a billion-dollar steel mill project in Iran. While it is obvious that the new capacity will not come on stream imminently, and probable that increased economic activity in Iran resulting from the relaxation of sanctions will absorb much of it, it must impinge on Tata's prospects when the global market picks up again.
It is surprising, therefore, that there appears to have been no parliamentary question on the matter. Nor do honourable members seem concerned that President Souhani first wheeled his trolley to France (albeit picking up some Airbuses in which Broughton has an interest) and Italy rather than the UK.

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