The European Commission could soon start an antidumping investigation on hot rolled coil (HRC) from Turkey, said Fabrizio Di Gianni, a lawyer with Van Bael & Bellis during the EUROMETAL SSC Regional Meeting Southern Europe held in Milan on November 21. Mr. Di Gianni said that, based on import volumes, there would appear to be grounds to initiate such an investigation as the annualized volumes of HRC imports to Europe should reach 3.474 million mt in 2019, against 2.944.396 mt in 2018 and even lower volumes in previous years. The volume of imports from Turkey has increased five-fold over the 2015-19 period, he said. “However the statistics also demonstrate an increase in the unit price of HRC between 2015 and 2019,” he added.
Tayfun Iseri from Turkish steelmaker Colakoglu, speaking at the same event, said that everybody is protecting themselves against Turkey because it is only now that Turkey has begun to benefit, i.e., exporting more than importing. He also underlined that the increase in Turkish exports was due to European customers having to rely on Turkish imports since 2018 after the imposition of antidumping duties on HRC coming from China, Russia, Iran, and Brazil.
Mr. İseri also stressed that the US has not won a single antidumping case against Turkey so far, meaning that Turkey is respecting international free trade agreements. The US is the largest complainant in the world based on the probes it has started in the past few years, while China was the largest defendant, said Mr. Iseri, adding that the US should focus on improving its productivity instead of opting for protectionist measures. Asked whether Turkey could start applying retaliatory measures against other countries, he replied that he did not think Turkey will do so as both Turkish consumers and producers are against this.
Iseri went on to say that “steel is not everything”. Steel is an important part of Turkey’s exports with a share of 9.3 percent of total exports, but it comes after automotive, textiles, and chemicals. He said that no one is complaining about Turkey’s auto exports because these are made with European components or by European car manufacturers in Turkey.