Turkey postpones imposition of higher customs duties on flat steel imports

Turkey has postponed the effective date of the increase in customs duties on imports of flat steel with a new presidential decree published Feb. 26, following an earlier decree on the same on Jan. 28.

According to the decree seen by S&P Global Commodity Insights, the effective date of the custom duty rise will now be April 1 instead of Feb. 27

Customs duties on unalloyed hot-rolled, cold-rolled and coated coil imports will be increased by 6%-7% to 15%, 17% and 20%, respectively, as of April 1.

EU countries and countries with which Turkey has free trade agreements will be exempted from the customs duty rise.

Both long and flat steel prices in Turkey’s domestic market have increased recently amid some temporary mill stoppages due to the Feb. 6 earthquakes and increased demand from reconstruction activities that are expected to start from March, sources said.

As Turkish producers could reserve most of their steel capacities for reconstruction projects, prices in Turkey could rise further, sources said.

“The government’s latest move is probably aiming to prevent the increase in flat steel prices in the domestic market, however, it could technically have limited effect as the effective date is still very near,” a steel service center manager said Feb. 26.

Platts assessed the Turkish HRC steel price at $815/mt ex-works Feb. 24, $50/mt higher than on Feb. 4 before the earthquake.

— Cenk Can