Turkish consumption declines, CIS supply shortages concern steelmakers

Turkish steelmakers aim to ramp up capacity utilisation to plug any potential steel supply gaps in the domestic market left by the absence of Russian and Ukrainian material.

“There is a possibility that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will cause production losses in these countries, which are two important steel producers, resulting in global and regional shortages of supply and accordingly price increases,” says Turkish Steel Producers’ Association (TCUD) general secretary Veysel Yayan.

TCUD is concerned that the continuation of the war in Ukraine will cause difficulties with raw materials supply to Turkey. Yayan says: “In order for our country’s domestic market not to be affected by the lack of supply that may arise from this conflict, our steel producers are striving to increase the capacity utilisation rate as much as possible and to give priority to the domestic market. Minimising uncertainties in the coming weeks is important for establishing stability in the sector.”

Meanwhile, taking into account the $100 billion trade target agreed between Turkey and the US, it is important to ensure the US negotiates steel quota allocations with Turkey, as it has done with other countries, says TCUD.

Similar negotiations must take place with the EU and countermeasures taken within the framework of reciprocity principles if no results are obtained, the association adds.

The US-EU steel trade agreement has paved the way for similar quota allocation negotiations with Japan, South Korea and the UK. Apart from Turkey, there is no other country whose trade with the USA is balanced but where protection measures are still applied, TCUD says.

Turkey’s January crude steel production fell 7.8% on-year to 3.2 million tonnes due to energy cuts and contraction in demand.

Finished steel consumption decreased 3.7% to 3mt, Kallanish notes.

January exports of steel products grew 2.7% to 1.3mt and increased 58.9% in value to $1.2 billion. Exports of semi-finished and long steel products decreased by 21% and 5%, respectively, while exports of flat products, which mainly constitute manufacturing industry inputs, increased by 26%.

Imports, on the other hand, continued their 2021 upward trend in January. They rose 14.6% on-year to 1.4mt, and by 58.9% to $1.4 billion.

The ratio of exports to imports remained unchanged at 84.6:100 in January.

Burcak Alpman Turkey