Turkey should take protectionist stance on TANAP tender, CIB says

Recent anti-dumping cases involving Turkish steel companies should offer a lesson in the protection of domestic industries, according to Namik Ekinci, chairman of the Turkish Steel Exporters Assn (CIB).

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Seen in this light, Turkey should not award the tender for the Trans Anatolia Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) to a Chinese or Indian mill, he said in a press release published on Thursday July 24.

Protectionist walls are rising across the world because of the current economic situation, Ekinci said. The Turkish steel industry should follow the lead of other countries which have resorted to anti-dumping measures, and protect its local producers.

There were Indian and Chinese producers involved in the TANAP tender which have been alleged to be dumping steel products in the markets of other developed countries, Ekinci warned.

The TANAP pipeline will transport natural gas produced in Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz 2 gasfield through Turkey and on into Europe via a 1,800km pipeline. It is expected to consume about 1.2 million tonnes of steel pipe.

“The Turkish steel pipe industry is far and away the best on quality and trustworthiness of products, delivery timing and technical support, compared with Indian and Chinese producers,” Ekinci said.

“That is the reason for showing preference to Turkish mills. In such projects [as TANAP], we should not give an opportunity to foreign producers which are dumping into markets with government support. The [Turkish] government will take due precautions, I believe,” he added.

The political problems in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) have already affected Turkish steel exports badly. The developments in Syria, Libya and Egypt – and especially recent issues in Iraq – have acted to reduce Turkish steel exports, according to Ekinci.

Turkish steel export volumes fell by 7.3% year-on-year to 9.2 million tonnes in the first six months of 2014. The value of these exports was down by 5.3% to $7.02 billion.

Meanwhile, the Turkish steel industry was fighting against trade cases in other parts of the world. A total of 18 such cases have been opened by 13 countries since 2010, seven of which have yet to be resolved.

For instance, the USA launched anti-dumping and countervailing duty cases against exports of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) from nine countries, as a result of which Turkish mills were exposed to additional duties.

Canada has also started anti-dumping and countervailing duty investigations into rebar and pipe exports from China, South Korea and Turkey, and more cases were expected to be opened soon, Ekinci said.