S. Korea and Japan become Turkey’s top HRC suppliers in September

Turkish buyers’ imports of hot-rolled coil remained strong in September at 371,500 mt, with imports especially from South Korea and Japan rising significantly year on year. These two East Asian countries became Turkey’s top HRC suppliers in September, S&P Global Platts observed from the latest Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) data.

South Korea became the largest supplier at 65,600 mt, a roughly four-fold increase on year. Turkey’s nine months’ HRC imports from South Korea totaled 238,650 mt, significantly higher than 54,250 mt imported in the same period the previous year.

According to the terms and conditions of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed by Turkey and South Korea in 2013, the gradual reduction period in customs duties finished Jan. 1, 2020 and the customs duty on all steel products from South Korea zeroed, as Platts has reported.

Turkish imports of HRC from Japan, totaled 65,000 mt in September, 62% higher on year. Turkey’s overall HRC imports from Japan in the nine-month period totaled 224,100 mt, a more than fourfold increase on year.

Turkish industry sources attributed the sharp rise in imports from these East Asian countries to the FTA with S.Korea and these mills’ lower export offer prices to Turkey compared to their sales prices in their own markets.

Imports from Turkey’s traditionally largest HRC supplier, Russia, continued its declining trend in September and fell to 64,000 mt, lower than 80,100 mt supplied in the same month the previous year. Turkey’s HRC imports from another CIS country, Ukraine, totaled 51,600 mt in September, up 11% on year.

France was another large HRC supplier in September at 33,100 mt, while the UK shipped 27,000 mt, followed by Italy (24,800 mt), Germany (9,200 mt) and Belgium (8,400 mt).

— Cenk Can