South Korea’s Pohang Iron and Steel Company (Posco Steel) will export 500,000 tonnes of steel to the Middle East and Turkey in 2010 compared to 1 million tonnes in 2009 due to booming domestic demand.

A source from the Posco’s Dubai office says that the company has had to cut back in regards to exports, but it has still identified the Middle East and Turkey as one of its major markets.

“We sell a lot of high-grade steel to Iran for use in the automotive and oil and gas industry, but due to demand in South Korea we can’t sell as much this year,” the source says.

The source adds that Iran usually buys 50 per cent of Posco’s steel with Turkey and the Arabian peninsula taking up around 25 per cent each.

The official also says that discussions have taken place between the state-owned Saudi Iron and Steel Company (Hadeed) about potential investments in Saudi Arabia, but as yet there are no firm plans to press ahead.

“[Posco] has no restrictions on investment,” the source says. “[It] is just waiting for the right project.”

Posco Steel is one of the world’s largest steel companies and produced around 29.5 million of crude steel in 2009.