Turkish steel exports soar in June; EU quotas to limit further sales

As steel consumption in Turkey rose notably in June and exports soared by 40.3% year on year in that month to 2 million mt, amid recovery attempts globally, Turkish mills’ crude steel output rose 3.8% year on year to 3.8 million mt. However, despite this rise, Turkish mills H1 steel output remained 4.1% lower than last year at 16.3 million mt due to the pandemic.

The decline in Turkish mills’ export volumes could accelerate again in the coming months due to EU quotas, the Turkish Steel Producers’ Association (TCUD) said on Aug. 11.

According to the European Commission data, the three-month EU steel quotas, during July 1- September 30, for construction steel and hollow sections have already filled, while more than 90% of the quotas for organic-coated plate, sections and wire rod were already used as of the end of July.

The 8.7% rise seen in Turkish steel consumption, however, supported Turkish mills output and prices in H1. Long steel consumption in Turkey rose 12.4% year on year in H1, while flat steel consumption increased by 5.8% on year in that period, despite the pandemic.

“However, the rise seen in finished product output remained lower than steel consumption in H1, as imports weighted consumption habits . . .,” the TCUD said in an Aug. 11 statement..

Highlighting that steel imports into Turkey rose by 59.8% on year to 1.4 million mt in June, the TCUD said: “To avert the rise in steel imports, Turkey should impose counter measures against the EU as soon as possible.”

Turkey informed the World Trade Organization on May 25 about possible duties against EU steel, as Platts has reported. But no presidential decree about it has been published yet, despite mill expectations.

Some Turkish market participants’ expectations in this regard are decreasing, as Ugur Dalbeler, CEO of a major Turkish steel producer, told Platts last week.

“Our expectations about counter measures against EU steel are decreasing, but we will continue to try to exist under the current conditions,” the CEO said.

— Cenk Can