EC’s HRC safeguard revision to reduce Turkish supply

The European Commission’s latest proposal for the revision of safeguard measures specifically for hot rolled coil is set to impact trade from Turkey. This is because European buyers will need to further limit their intake from this supplier to meet the new, more stringent rules.

According to the proposal, expected to become effective from 1 October, no supplier will be able to use more than 30% of the available quota for any given period.

During the April-June 2019 period the assigned HRC import quotas were 2.8 million tonnes, of which only less than 50,000t remained unused at the end of period. While specific data on the allocation to each country of provenance are not yet available, Turkey appears to be the only HRC source to have surpassed the 30% market share for imports in recent years.

According to Eurofer data, in the first half of 2019 Turkey accounted for over 40% of total EU HRC imports. None of the other large suppliers, such as Russia, India, Serbia, South Korea and Taiwan, imported volumes accounting for more than 15% each of total imports.

The growing importance of Turkish HRC supply to Europe was visible already in 2018 when the country accounted for some 35% of total HRC imports into the continent. In 2017, on the other hand, Turkish HRC was just slightly more than 25% of total HRC imports.

From October onwards European importers will therefore need to limit somewhat their purchases of HRC from Turkey, potentially boosting imports from other large sources such as Russia, India, South Korea, Taiwan and Serbia, Kallanish notes.