Turkey’s Ekinciler restarts steel production with full capacity after earthquakes

Large Turkish long steelmaker Ekinciler Demir Celik has restarted production after it halted due the Feb. 6 earthquakes, Executive Board Member Huseyin Soykan said March 9.

“After eliminating the destructive effects of the earthquakes, Ekinciler Demir Celik has begun to work with full capacity again,” a company statement said.

Ekinciler has a 1.25 million mt liquid steel capacity and produces billet and 8-50 mm rebars.

Most steelmakers operating in the earthquake-affected south-eastern region of Turkey have restarted production recently.

Isdemir, Turkey’s largest basic oxygen furnace-based steelmaker, is also expected to return to production in the coming days, which would solve some domestic availability issues.

The region produces around a third of Turkey’s annual steel output.

Turkey’s housing development administration plans to build 350,000 houses in 11 cities within a year, which will require 5 million mt of steel products, including 3 million mt of rebar, 750,000 mt of wire rod and 1.25 million mt of sheet metal.

This could be met by steelmakers prioritizing the domestic market, Turkish Steel Producers’ Association said previously.

Producers have agreed that no increase will be made in rebar prices, except for fluctuations in raw material prices, as previously reported.

Demand for rebar for reconstruction projects, however, has seen imported billet and scrap prices rise in recent weeks.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed Turkish imports of premium heavy melting scrap 1/2 (80:20) at $457.50/mt CFR March 8, $32.50/mt higher than on Feb. 1, while the CIS export billet assessment was $615/mt FOB Black Sea, up from $560/mt CFR on Feb. 1.

— Cenk Can