Turkish steel exports to EU fall 25%, EU updates import quotas

Turkish mills’ steel exports to one of their traditional main steel export markets, the EU, declined 24.9% year on year in the first three quarters of the year, due to trade barriers, although steel imports from that region rose in that period, the Turkish Steel Producers’ Association (TCUD) said at a statement dated Nov. 2, without citing the tonnages.

The European Commission, meanwhile, announced safeguard measures on Oct. 30 with a tariff-rate quota on steel imports from the UK into the EU from Jan. 1, 2021.

The Commission also updated the countries quota volumes as of January 2021, including Turkey, with the Oct. 30 notice, S&P Global Platts observed.

According to the notice, the import quota for Turkish rebar imports has been lowered to 58,826 mt from 75,123 mt for the quarter starting Jan. 1, 2021 and the quota for Turkish hot-rolled coil sheet imports has been reduced to to 313,791 mt from 337,391 mt for that period.

Other changes announced by the EU to the safeguard measures on Oct. 30 include the exclusion from safeguards for imports from Turkey for large welded tubes.

The EU will consider feedback on the announced changes within five working days of the announcement.

Veysel Yayan, general secretary of Turkish Steel Producers’ Association (TCUD) told Platts on Nov. 2 that the EC notice shows that the EU is trying to block steel imports into the EU region as much as possible.

World Trade Organization members have agreed to the establishment of a dispute panel to review a complaint filed by Turkey regarding the EU’s safeguard measures on imports of certain steel products on Aug. 28, as Platts has reported. Yayan told Platts Nov. 2 that the result of the panel is expected to be announced within six months from the start of the panel and they thought the decision would be in favor of Turkey.

As of the first nine months of the year, Turkish mills’ overall steel exports declined by 9.1% to 15 million mt, due to trade measures, while imports into Turkey rose by 8.9% to 10 million mt, as steel consumption in Turkey rose by 14.9% to 21.9 million mt in that period, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest TCUD data.

Steel production in Turkey exceeded last year’s performance in January-September 2020, amid the rise seen in domestic steel consumption, despite the pandemic.

— Cenk Can