Turkish hot rolled flat exports fall 38% in 2012

Turkey’s exports of hot rolled flat steel products fell by 38% year-on-year in 2012, according to data recently released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK).

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Export volumes totalled 1,028,893 tonnes in 2012, compared with 1,669,741 tonnes in 2011.

Turkey exported 207,857 tonnes to Italy, 93,314 tonnes to Romania, 74,459 tonnes to the USA, and 54,312 tonnes to Spain.

In general, 2012 was a slow year for the Turkish flat steel market, as imports continued and production of crude steel for flats decreased by 9% to 8.83 million tonnes.

The market recovered toward the end of the year, however, with demand coming mostly from Europe.

Participants in the Turkish flat steel market believe export tonnages in January-February 2013 will be high to Europe, as there was high demand in December after the closure of Italian steelmaker Ilva’s Taranto plant.

In December alone, Turkey exported 137,851 tonnes of hot rolled flats, 22% higher than the 113,139 tonnes exported in the previous month.

Greece took 17,218 tonnes of hot rolled flat steel, while 16,075 tonnes went to Belgium, 14,731 tonnes to Egypt, and 13,532 tonnes to Romania.

A Turkish exporter of flat products noted that the euro has strengthened against the US dollar, so demand for Turkish flats is likely to increase by February, once CIS producers have also announced their prices.