Turkish steel associations express optimism at Kallanish conference

Turkey’s major steel associations expressed their optimism over an improvement in Turkish steel demand after 2020 at last week’s Kallanish Euro-Turkey-CIS Flat Steel Conference in Istanbul.

Turkish Steel Exporters Association (CIB) board member Asiye Ay said Turkey, with its growing exports this year, was the sixth-largest steel exporter in the world in the first half of 2019. “While production, consumption and imports have decreased by -10.5%, -27.7% and -19.6% respectively, exports have increased by 9.5% in the same period,” she told delegates.

Flat steel accounts for 27% of Turkey’s steel exports, of which 60% is hot rolled coil and 26% is coated coil. In the nine months through September the EU was the largest flats export destination at 3.021 million tonnes, followed by North Africa with 395,000t and the Middle East with 297,000t.

While commenting on a question regarding Turkish steel imports, she said that downstream producers are still suffering from high prices and lack of certain specifications from local feedstock suppliers.

Turkish Steel Producers Association (TCUD) general secretary Veysel Yayan, meanwhile, said the Turkish steel industry is used to managing economic crisis and local demand will increase in 2020.

Underlining the imbalance in Turkey’s flat steel imports from and exports to the CIS, which are 2.5-3mt and only 75,000t respectively, he called for immediate action to change this situation. In reference to new restrictions from the USA and EU against free and fair trade, he added that the steel industry should not be subject to political issues. “It is impossible to keep other products global when the steel industry is under threat from regionalisation,” Yayan commented. Trade wars will in the end hit the initiators.”

Gökhan Demiruz, Chairman of Turkey’s Association of Flat Steel Importers and Manufacturers (Yisad), said that Turkey will catch last year’s production volumes with only a small difference. By 2030 Turkey’s flat steel consumption will reach 30 million tonnes.

“This is a temporary condition and after 2020 we will start seeing improvement in the steel industry,” he commented. “Low mortgage interest rates will support the improvement. As for pricing, we cannot be independent from global prices. We have to follow the developments starting from scrap raw materials.” Regarding trade restrictions, he said he is not against protectionism such as anti-dumping if it is applied after fair investigations.