TURKEY FLAT STEEL WRAP: Prices increase as demand improves in August

Flat steel prices in Turkey continued to increase in August on a combination of strong demand and rising global prices.

Most flat steel producers in the country are now accepting orders for November production.

The country’s slab production increased in the January-July 2017 period, according to the Turkish Steel Producers Assn (TÇÜD).

Turkey’s slab production amounted to 6.85 million tonnes in those seven months, a 24.15% year-on-year increase from 5.52 million tonnes produced in January-July 2016.

Domestic prices
Hot rolled coil, cold rolled coil
Metal Bulletin’s weekly price assessment for Turkish domestic hot rolled coil (HRC) was $590-595 per tonne ex-works on Friday September 1, increasing from $535-550 per tonne ex-works on August 4.

The weekly price assessment for Turkish domestic cold rolled coil (CRC) was $675-680 per tonne ex-works on September 1, again rising from $640-650 per tonne ex-works on August 4.

“Demand is very good, stocks are low, so producers keep increasing [their output]. And all prices – scrap, iron ore, billet, rebar, everything – increased together, so I do not expect prices to fall any time soon,” one market participant said on August 3.

“As all raw material prices and other commodity prices are increasing, prices keep rising. But I don’t know how long this will last,” another trader said on August 18.

Coated coil
Coated coil prices also increased over August in Turkey, in line with increasing HRC and CRC prices.

Demand remained moderate for coated steel in the country as it was the summer slow period, followed by the post-Ramadan Eid Al-Fitr religious holiday at the end of the month.

The weekly price assessment for Turkish domestic 0.50mm hot dipped galvanized coil (HDG) was $820-830 per tonne ex-works on September 1, rising from $760-770 per tonne ex-works on August 4.

The weekly price assessment for Turkish domestic pre-painted galvanized iron (PPGI), or colour-coated coil, of 0.50mm gauge, with 9002 colour code, was $940-950 on September 1, rising from $910-915 per tonne ex-works on August 4.

Import prices
The import prices from the CIS region were close to the domestic flat steel prices in Turkey in August, so the import market was not very strong. Buyers preferred to wait and see if prices would fall, but the rising prices for raw materials and other commodities gave strength to all flat steel prices globally.

The weekly price assessment for Turkish HRC imports was $575-585 per tonne cfr on September 1, up from $520-530 per tonne cfr on August 4.

And the weekly price assessment for Turkish CRC imports was $624-625 per tonne cfr on September 1, up from $589-590 per tonne cfr on August 4.

HRC exports
Demand for Turkish HRC weakened in Europe in August, as the region was in its seasonal holiday slowdown.

Several deals for Turkish HRC were made at $540-545 per tonne fob to Europe early in the month.

“All prices increased after China announced production cuts for environmental reasons. It would be no surprise to see [prices of] $600 per tonne soon,” a trader said on August 11.

“We did not accept $540 [per tonne] last week, and look [at the prices] now. Prices will hit $600 [per tonne] soon, but end-user demand is not that strong,” another market participant said on August 11.

Another deal was heard at $595 per tonne fob toward the end of the month.

The weekly price assessment for Turkish HRC exports was $580-595 per tonne fob on September 1, up from $540-545 per tonne fob on August 4.

Flat steel exports, imports
Turkey exported 330,314 tonnes of flat steel products in July 2017, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK).

This volume was up by 113.28% from the 154,874 tonnes exported in July 2016.

The total included 196,305 tonnes of hot rolled coil (HRC), up by 100.86% year-on-year from 97,732 tonnes in July 2016.

Turkey’s flat steel imports reached 830,197 tonnes in July 2017, up by 32.35% year-on-year from 627,294 tonnes in July 2016.

The imported volumes included 501,889 tonnes of hot rolled flat steel, up by 38.34% year-on-year from 326,806 tonnes.

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