INTERVIEW: Steel mills in Turkish earthquake zone may close for a month: TCUD

Turkish steel mills in the regions of the Feb. 6 earthquakes may remain closed for around a month until workforce, logistics and power cut problems are resolved, Turkish Steel Producers’ Association (TCUD) General Secretary told S&P Global Commodity Insights Feb. 14.

No notable damage was reported at production facilities, Veysel Yayan also said.

“Producers in the region have focused on rescue efforts and life support services in recent days, as many workers and their families have been affected by the earthquakes,” Yayan said.

Iskenderun Demir ve Celik (Isdemir), the country’s largest integrated long and flat steelmaker with a liquid capacity of 5.8 million mt, said Feb. 13 it had suspended production until due diligence studies were completed.

At least four other steelmakers in the region issued a joint force majeure notice Feb. 12, citing the president’s decree introducing a three-month state of emergency in the impacted regions.

Large steelmakers in the region produce more than 30% of Turkey’s steel, Yayan said, adding that steelmakers in other regions would be able to meet demand in the interim.

Turkey has enough production capacity to meet the expected rise in steel demand in coming months as reconstruction begins, with producers set to prioritize domestic demand over exports, Yayan said.

“This move will also prevent a sharp rise in steel prices in the country,” Yayan said, adding that increases seen in domestic flat steel prices in recent days were in line with global prices.

Some trade sources have reported increases of around $40-$50/mt in coated flat steel offer prices in recent days, although long steel prices have remained largely stable amid subdued trade.

Platts, part of S&P Global, assessed Turkish imports of premium heavy melting scrap 1/2 (80:20) at $427.50/mt CFR on Feb. 13, and Turkish exported rebar at $700/mt FOB, both unchanged day on day.

— Cenk Can