Turkey to become net flat steel exporter as HRC capacity rises

Turkey’s major steel producers and end users met with Riza Tuna Turagay, vice minister of the Turkish Trade Ministry, to discuss supply chain problems at a panel discussion held by the Istanbul Chamber of Industry on Jan. 20.

Ugur Dalbeler, CEO of steelmaker Colakoglu, who spoke at the conference, told S&P Global Platts Jan. 21 that Turkish steel producers have submitted their opinions to the panel about market shortages and a short-term rapid rise in prices.

“Due to the decline in Chinese HRC exports last year and the downfall in large steel producing countries output figures, the rapid rise in demand in the fourth quarter of the year couldn’t be met. For that reason steel prices rose globally. But this artificial rise is gradually stabilizing,” the CEO said.

Highlighting that Turkish hot-rolled coil capacity will rise to 23 million mt with new investments in 2022 from the current 18 million mt with new investments Dalbeler said: “Turkey will reach a net flat steel exporter position,” noting that Turkey has nine cold-rolled and coated coil mills with an installed capacity of 11 million mt.

Colakoglu is aiming to raise its hot-rolling mill capacity by around 50% to 4.5 million mt with a new annealing furnace, while an environmental impact assessment (EIA) process has also recently started for Tosyali Demir Celik’s, new 3.5 million mt HRC mill project, as Platts has reported.

“Turkey which was producing only one third of its total steel consumption 10 years ago, will start to produce more than its total steel consumption as of next year,” Dalbeler noted.

Drawing attention that although steel production in Turkey increased last year, steel imports into Turkey rose notably year on year, Dalbeler said: “Around 95% of steel imports into Turkey were made without a duty. For that reason we couldn’t say that there is an obstacle ahead of imports into Turkey,”

Dalbeler noted that Turkish mills are working hard to ease the provisional supply problems in the market in cooperation with the Turkish Ministry.

Some Turkish contractors demanded in mid-December that the country’s competition authority start an investigation of recent sharp increases in domestic rebar and cement prices, as reported.

— Cenk Can