Turkey eyes tariffs on EU flat steel imports: sources

Turkey may soon impose tariffs on flat steel imports including hot-rolled coil (HRC) from the EU, according to sources familiar with the matter.

EU steel quotas and the US Section 232 tariff decisions have halved Turkish steel exports to these markets. In response, mills are negotiating with the Turkish Trade Ministry over potential action against the EU, based on the principle of reciprocity, with action expected soon, sources told S&P Global Platts.

“This action could be only against hot-rolled coil imports from EU region and could be imposed within December,” an executive with a Turkish producer told Platts.

A second executive from a major Turkish steelmaker confirmed the talks on tariffs to Platts.

Turkey’s steelmaking trade body, the Turkish Steel Producers Association (TCUD), has called on the government to impose tariffs on imports to help protect the domestic industry.

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

According to Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) data sent to S&P Global Platts last Friday, HRC imports from some EU countries rose significantly year-on-year in the first three quarters.

For example, France supplied 304,000 mt of HRC to Turkey in that period, up 23% on year. Germany’s HRC exports to Turkey rose 35% on year.

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