Turkish steel producers call for govt help to combat massive growth in imports

The Turkish Steel Producers’ Association (TÇÜD) has called for government intervention to help the country’s steel industry after a significant increase in imports overshadowed an uptick in domestic crude steel production.

Steel production in Turkey was up in July for the first time in 14 months, but the share of steel imports also pushed up significantly, the association said.

Turkish crude steel output increased by 7.70% month on month in July, to 2.9 million tonnes, according to TÇÜD data, but over the first seven months of 2023 output was down 13.3% year on year to 18.8 million tonnes.

And Turkey’s wire rod imports increased by 93.30% in the first seven months of the year, TÇÜD said.

Turkey imported 464,862 tonnes of wire rod in January-July under HS code 7213, 87.39% more than the 248,068 tonnes imported in the same period of 2022, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜIK).

TÇÜD said steel imports from China were up by 84% over the first seven months of the year and said help was need to combat the rise in imports. Hot-rolled flat steel imports under HS code 7208 alone increased by 203.83% to 1,270,983 tonnes in January-July 2023, compared with 418,324 tonnes imported in the same period of 2022, according to TÜIK.

TÇÜD general secretary Veysel Yayan told a local newspaper in Turkey that that steel investments in the Persian Gulf — especially in Saudi Arabia and Iran — would give producers there an energy cost advantage over Turkish steelmakers.

Consequently, he added, the Turkish steel sector needs more competitive energy prices, along with protective measures to limit the amount of cheap imports coming into the country.

Energy costs for steelmakers in Turkey are higher than for steel producers in the Gulf and those in Europe, Yayan said.

The Saudi Arabian steel industry appears to be consolidating under government ownership, with Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) recently announcing the sale of its steel subsidiary Hadeed SABIC to the country’s Public Investment Fund, which is also purchasing 100% shareholding in AlRajhi Steel Industries from Mohammed Abdulaziz AlRajhi & Sons Investment Company (Rajhi Invest).

Demand for steel in Saudi Arabia is expected to grow significantly due to the country’s Saudi Vision 2030 mega projects.

Published by: Serife Durmus