Virus hits Turkish flats market, production cuts on the way

As the COVID-19 outbreak has hit flat steel demand significantly both in the domestic and export markets in recent days, Turkish mills’ offer prices continued to fall throughout the week. Some production cuts by some Turkish producers could be on the way in this sentiment, producer and trade sources told S&P Global Platts Thursday.

A major Turkish coated coil producer started maintenance at its cold-rolling and galvanizing lines, Platts learned from a company source Thursday. Maintenance at the company’s tandem rolling mill and pickling line will start at the beginning of next week, the source said, while maintenance at the company’s galvanizing line will continue till the beginning of April.

Major Turkish flat steel producer Colakoglu has plans for maintenance at its hot-rolling line at the beginning of April, as S&P Global Platts has reported.

Some other producers could also pull down their capacity usages notably in the coming weeks in a sluggish market, as uncertainties arising from the virus outbreak continue to hit global demand and prices.

The recent sharp declines seen in imported scrap prices and sluggish market sentiment were also raising the pressure on Turkish mills’ quotations.

Some mills’ hot-rolled coil offer prices fell below $500/mt ex-works in this sentiment, while some Turkish coated coil producers have begun offering DX51D with 50-70 grams/square meter zinc coating, 0.50 mm hot-dip galvanized coil as low as at $610-$620/mt ex-works in recent days, down a further $20/mt on-week, Platts learned from producer and trade sources Thursday.

“I also heard a mill offer as low as $600/mt ex-works,” a coated coil producer source said, adding that they have begun to receive some order cancellations from export markets in recent days, especially from some countries in Europe that made “state of emergency” proclamations.

Turkish producers may face difficulties responding to Chinese mills’ probable aggressive offers in the coming days as they seek to deplete their excess stocks, he also noted.

— Cenk Can