Turkish mills demand counter measure move on EU steel

Drawing attention to the European Commission’s latest notification to the World Trade Organization that it could begin to impose a country-specific quota on HRC imports as of July 1, instead of a global quota, which is expected to especially impact Turkey’s exports to the region, the Turkish Steel Producers’ Association (TCUD) has called upon the Turkish government to impose similar counter measures on steel imports from the EU.

“Our overall steel exports to the EU region fell by 44.4% year on year in the first four months of 2020, while our hot-rolled coil shipments declined more significantly by 47% on year,” TCUD said, adding that Turkey’s steel imports from the EU, however, rose by 6.5% on year in that period.

“Despite this trend, [the EC] is continuing its moves to block steel imports from Turkey,” TCUD noted, adding that counter measures should be taken by the government without delay.

The EC recently launched an anti-dumping investigation into imports of certain hot-rolled flat products from Turkey following a request by European steel association Eurofer. The association also filed a complaint at the end of May with the EC requesting a countervailing duty (CVD) investigation against allegedly subsidized hot-rolled coil imports from Turkey, as S&P Global Platts has reported.

As a reply to these moves Turkey informed the WTO on May 25 that customs duties ranging from 9% to 17% on some flat-rolled products, non-alloy bars and angles from the EU region could be imposed, in response to the EU’s move for additional measures against imports of Turkish steel.

Turkey has 30 days to suspend, change and impose the stated additional duties, according to article 8.2 of the Safeguard Measure agreement.

Platts, meanwhile learned that Turkish Trade Minister Ruhsar Pekcan held a meeting with EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan on June 5. However, details of the talks couldn’t be determined by press time that day.

According to the latest Turkish Steel Producers Association (TCUD) data published this past week, Turkish mills’ overall steel exports declined by 21.6% on year in April to 1.5 million mt, while imports slumped by 54.6% on year to 563,000 mt, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which sharply decreased global demand that month.

Turkish mills produced 2.3 million mt of crude steel in April, down by 26.3% on year, due to the mills’ temporary stoppages and output cuts, the latest data showed.

— Cenk Can