Turkish steelmakers call for govt action over falling exports, rising imports

The Turkish Steel Producers Association (TCUD) has warned that Turkey may become an open market for dumped steel imports unless swift action is taken by the government.

Turkey’s steel exports fell by 3.90% to 8.14 million tonnes in January-May 2018, while steel imports increased by 18% to 7.5 million tonnes, TCUD said on Wednesday, July 11.

The main reason for the decline in Turkey’s steel exports is the Section 232 decision by the United States, which imposed 25% duty on steel imports, the association said.

TCUD said that not only had Turkish steel exports decreased but dumped steel products were coming into Turkey having lost their US market.

The association called for new trade measures to protect the domestic steel industry in Turkey back in April.

Turkey’s Ministry of Economy started an investigation into the impact of steel imports on the country’s domestic steelmaking industry, on April 27, but it will not be finalized until late January 2019 at the earliest.

Turkey produced 15.85 million tonnes of crude steel in January-May 2018, a 4.32% increase over the corresponding period in 2017.

Turkey produces, imports and exports steel products and TCUD has warned against increasing imports of these products, at lower prices.

For instance, Metal Bulletin’s weekly price assessment for Turkish domestic hot-rolled coil was $615-625 per tonne ex-works on Friday, July 6, and the weekly price assessment for HRC imports to Turkey was $585-595 per tonne cfr on July 6.

Metal Bulletin’s weekly price assessment for Turkish HRC exports was $615-620 per tonne fob on July 6.

Turkish producers have had to cut their prices to be competitive against dumped imports, or they keep their capacity idle because they cannot compete with the low prices, one Turkish trader said.

He said new import duties would help producers utilize their idle capacities.

And, as a consequence, steel prices in the country’s local market could increase because dumped import products will no loner be available, he said.

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