European Aluminium sets up independent taskforce to probe certain Turkish imports, sources say

Industry association European Aluminium has put together an independent taskforce to investigate certain aluminium imports to the region from Turkey, according to documents seen by Fastmarkets

The taskforce will be conducted by an independent law firm, sources said. The formation of the taskforce comes amid discussions among participants about the price and scale of those imports and their impact on the European aluminium market.

“European Aluminium stands for free and fair trade. Our association aims to preserve the interest of the entire aluminium value chain in greater Europe, including the UK, EFTA (European Free Trade Association) countries and Turkey,” Paul Voss, director general at Brussels-based European Aluminium, said on Tuesday November 29.

“The taskforce is an independent initiative aimed at objectively analyzing the market situation,” he added.

“We are aware that a few individual companies are interested, however it is not ‘association-led’. The trade between the EU and Turkey within the Customs Union is fair and mutually beneficial,” Erol Metin, secretary general for Turkish Aluminium Industrialists Association (TALSAD), said on Tuesday evening.

“We think there may be some misperceptions in this regard, and as the Turkish Aluminium Industrialists Association, we will be supporting transparent and constructive dialogues in this matter,” Metin added.

High premiums in Europe made the region an increasingly attractive import destination at the start of the year. But domestic production margins have since become increasingly squeezed by the higher availability of material in the market and rising European energy costs, participants noted.

European billet premiums have been in steady decline over recent months, succumbing to pressure from an increased supply of imported units as well as weak end-consumer demand.

Fastmarkets assessed the aluminium 6063 extrusion billet premium, ddp Italy (Brescia region) at $750-810 per tonne on November 25, the lowest since April 2021 and falling from $800-850 per tonne in the previous week.

Fastmarkets assessed the aluminium 6063 extrusion billet premium, ddp North Germany (Ruhr region) at $750-800 per tonne on November 25, down from $775-850 per tonne a week earlier.

The German billet premium is now 50% lower than the record high of $1,500-1,600 per tonne in April.

“We don’t mind the competition; competition is healthy to create a good market. What we don’t want is prices that are too low that we cannot produce at such levels,” a producer source said.

The independent taskforce will as early as this week start to take comments from market participants about whether the Turkish imports pose a substantial risk to the good functioning of the market, sources told Fastmarkets, but there is currently no timetable for any action to be taken.

“We are going full speed ahead next week. Everyone will send their own argument and then it is just a matter of lobbying the government,” a second European producer source said.

“We are taking it very seriously. It is the future of European production on the line,” the second producer source added.

But a decision may not be so immediate, others noted.

“There will be a shift in the market, but it’s not imminent; there will be no action any time soon,” a trader in the region said.

P1020 premiums have also moved lower over recent months following weak consumer demand and good availability of units.

Fastmarkets assessed the aluminium P1020A premium, in-whs dp Rotterdam at $230-260 per tonne on Tuesday, unchanged from the previous assessment but down by 60% from the record high of $600-630 per tonne in May.

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