Turkey’s 2018 coated coil exports up sharply on EU demand

Notably higher buying interest from the European Union, particularly from Spain, supported Turkey’s coated coil export volumes in 2018. Turkish coated coil producers exported 1.33 million mt of coated coils last year, 35% higher year on year, according to the latest Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) data sent to S&P Global Platts.

However, Turkey’s shipments to the US — its main coated coil export destination in previous years — totaled just 124,000 mt in 2018, sharply lower than the 300,000 mt exported in 2017 amid doubled US Section 232 tariffs against Turkey effective mid-August 2018.

Spain became Turkey’s main buyer last year, importing 171,500 mt of coated coils, roughly double year on year, while Turkey’s coated coil exports to the UK reached 116,000 mt in 2018, sharply higher than 42,000 mt exported in the previous year.

Greece bought 103,500 mt of Turkish coated coil in 2018, also sharply higher than the 46,000 mt total in 2017.

Turkish mills shipped 102,000 mt of coated coil to Belgium in 2018, while exports to Canada reached 90,000 mt. Turkey’s other significant coated coil buyers in 2018 were: Italy (58,500 mt), Israel (58,000 mt), Bulgaria (57,000 mt), Portugal (48,500 mt), Iraq (48,000 mt), Egypt (41,500 mt) and Romania (41,000 mt), the latest data showed.

Turkish mills’ domestic and export coated coil pricing has increased notably in recent weeks on sharply higher hot-rolled coil pricing, mostly due to higher scrap and iron ore costs.

Some coated coil producers began seeking higher prices for HDG and PPGI this week, but as buyers were generally resisting these new offers, some downward price adjustments could be seen in the coming week if domestic and export demand remains slow, a service center manager observed.

Turkish coated coil mills were offering DX51D HDG with 100 grams/square meter zinc coating, 0.50 mm, in a wide range of $755-$790/mt ex-works Tuesday, while some producers have kept their order books closed since last week.

“We have reflected higher HRC costs to our list prices this week and opened our order books, but demand is sluggish both in the domestic and export markets. India is still offering very agressive prices to Europe and our offers are currently uncompetitive compared to their offers,” a Turkish coated coil producer source told Platts Tuesday.

“Domestic Turkish HRC producers’ offers have reached as high as $560-$565/mt ex-works this week. If they will make some downward corrections in their offer prices in the coming weeks, we could also offer more competitive prices to the domestic and European markets. However, I am afraid, we will miss the train till then.”

— Cenk Can