Koc Metalurji breaks output record, expects demand to be strong

Turkish long steel producer Koc Metalurji, which worked with reduced capacities throughout the year due to sluggish market sentiment, has broken the output record at its meltshop late last week by reaching 51 castings into billet within a day, Murat Umur, general manager at the company, told S&P Global Platts Monday.

“We have thus reached an output of 5,108 mt/day this weekend at our meltshop, which could be even a world record,” Umur said.

“As the most active period begins with spring, we are expecting the rise in domestic demand to continue in the coming weeks,” the GM added.

Koc Metalurji, based in Osmaniye, southern Turkey, has the capacity to produce 1.2 million mt/year of liquid steel and 500,000 mt/year of rebar.

Due to a notable decline in Turkish steel consumption and slow export demand, some Turkish longs producers announced successive production cuts last year, while some of them, like Koc Metalurji, temporarily stopped production, as reported.

Turkish producers’ capacity utilization has been improving since the last quarter of 2019, with some recovery signs for demand.

Turkish producers received some orders for prompt shipments in the previous weeks, as some overseas buyers directed some of their unfilled orders to Turkey amid Chinese absence due to COVID-19 outbreak. This has also has given some support to Turkish mills’ output figures and product pricing in recent days.

However, the military situation in Idlib, northern Syria, and the COVID-19 outbreak could be a determinant factor for demand and price direction in the coming days, amid sharp exchange rate fluctuations in Turkey, some industry sources observed.

Some major Turkish long steel producers, which continued efforts to keep their domestic rebar offer prices above $440/mt in this sentiment, meanwhile hiked their lira-denominated domestic rebar list prices again on the first trading day of the week, amid lira depreciation, and started offering 12-32 mm rebar to the domestic market at Lira 3,300/mt ex-works Monday, including VAT, Platts learned.

— Cenk Can