Turkey could become EU’s largest steel producer by year-end: Dalbeler

Highlighting that Turkey, which is currently the second largest steel producer in the EU, has caught up to Germany as of the end of September, Ugur Dalbeler, the CEO of major steel maker Colakoglu and the vice president of Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association (CIB) told local news agency Bloomberg HT that Turkey could become EU’s largest steel producer by year-end.

Steel production in Turkey exceeded last year’s performance as of the first nine months of 2020, Dalbeler said, adding that this situation is different compared with other parts of the world.

“The growth figure in China, which has a 60% share in total global steel production, reached 4.9%, while other parts of the world shrinked by 10%,” Dalbeler said adding that the 1% growth figure that Turkey reached is showing that Turkey is better compared to its rivals.

In that sentiment Turkey could become EU’s largest steel producer by year-end by surpassing Germany, Dalbeler said.

Drawing attention that shipments to South East Asian markets notably supported Turkish mills’ exports, amid China’s performance in the first quarter of the year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Dalbeler also said he is expecting the rise in exports to that region to continue in the coming years.

Turkish mills’ rebar exports to that region especially increased notably. According to the latest Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) data observed by S&P Global Platts, Singapore became one of Turkey’s main rebar export markets in the first eight months of 2020, taking 235,700 mt, while Turkish mills’ rebar exports to Hong Kong totaled 207,000 mt. Turkish mills also exported 52,500 mt of rebar to Malaysia in January-August.

Dalbeler also said Turkey’s natural gas reserve discovery is important for Turkey, as the country is meeting most of its raw materials and energy needs by imports.

Turkey recently discovered a large gas field in the Black Sea with as much as 405 billion cubic meters, as Platts has reported.

The CEO of Colakoglu however also noted that the rise in exchange rates has a negative impact on Turkish steel producers, as they are dependent on raw material imports like iron ore and scrap. Having stability in exchange rates is very important when it comes to forward planning, he said.

— Cenk Can