Turkey’s CRC exports triple to meet southern Europe demand

Turkish mills’ cold-rolled coil exports rose significantly year on year in the first two months of 2021 on higher European demand, especially southern Europe, amid availability issues in the region, S&P Global Platts observed from the latest data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK).

Turkish mills’ shipped 133,500 mt of CRC to global markets in the period, tripled year on year, although Turkey’s overall CRC exports totaled only 379,600 mt in all of 2020, amid trade barriers and the COVID-19 pandemic.

South European countries were Turkey’s top CRC export markets in January-February 2021. Italy imported 36,200 mt of CRC from Turkey in that period, sharply higher than the 2,500 mt shipped to the country in the same period the previous year.

Spain was at 22,500 mt, up fivefold on year, while Turkish mills’ CRC shipments to Belgium totaled 8,200 mt. Turkish mills’ also exported 6,800 mt of CRC to UK in that period.

Ongoing availability problems in the market, strong export demand and higher HRC pricing, pulled up Turkish mills’ CRC offer prices to as high as $1,250/mt ex-works and above in recent days, while mills’ HRC offer prices have exceeded $1,000 mt ex-works.

Demand in the domestic market, however, has slowed notably following these hikes, amid sharply depreciated Turkish Lira against the US dollar since March 20, following the dismissal of the Central Bank’s governor.

The bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has decided to keep the policy rate (one-week repo auction rate) constant at 19% at a meeting held April 15 with the participation of the bank’s new governor, Sahap Kavcioglu.

Highlighting that demand and cost factors, supply constraints in some sectors, and high levels of inflation expectations continue to pose risks to the pricing behavior and inflation outlook, the bank stated: “The decelerating impact of the current monetary stance on credit and domestic demand is envisaged to become more significant in the upcoming period. Accordingly, the MPC has decided to maintain the tight monetary policy stance by keeping the policy rate unchanged,”

The currencies remained largely stable following the decision at Lira 8.08-8.12/$1 on April 15.

— Cenk Can