EU may soon review quotas on Turkish steel: Trade Minister

The European Commission may bring forward the review date of the quotas on Turkish steel as close as the first quarter of 2020, according to the Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan, who held negotiations with the EC Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan in Brussels at the end of last week.

According to the Pekcan’s statement published on the Turkish Trade Ministry’s website Saturday, they held useful negotiations with the EU commissioner about the update of the customs union agreement between Turkey and EU and also Brexit. “One of the main subject of our negotiations was the latest practices and trade measures imposed on iron and steel,” the minister said.

As Turkey’s steel exports to the EU region tripled in the last three years, Turkish steel exporters were the most affected by the trade measures imposed by the EU this year, Pekcan said. “We have once again transmitted our documents to the EU commissioner during the meeting. They told us that they will work on it and could bring forward the review date of the steel quotas on Turkish steel even to the first quarter of 2020.”

According to the latest data from European Steel Association Eurofer, Turkish imports declined by 22% month on month in October, amid quotas, but the country remained the top supplier of origin for European steel imports, with 16% market share.

Turkish Trade Minister Pekcan also said that while they are defending Turkish steel producers’ rights on international platforms, they will also use their rights arising from international agreements. “However, while supporting one sector, we shouldn’t harm another,” she noted.

Turkish mills are negotiating with the Turkish Trade Ministry over potential action against the EU, based on the principle of reciprocity, with action expected soon, as Platts reported last week.

Platts reached out to the Turkish Trade Ministry last Wednesday but the department was unable to provide a comment “due to our Minister’s intense working program.”

The Turkish Economy Ministry, which launched a steel safeguard investigation into steel imports a year ago, ended the investigation at the beginning of May 2019 without taking any action

— Cenk Can