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Turkish longs and flats production up 17% as demand resilient

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Turkey’s production of long and flat products rose a combined 16.9% in the first quarter of 2012 against last year, figures show, as home demand and exports remain resilient.

Data published by Turkish Iron & Steel Producers Assn shows that the country produced 6.45 million tonnes of longs, up 19.5%, while the production of flat products rose 10.2% to 2.32 million tonnes.

The 8.77 million tonnes of longs and flats combined represented an increase of 16.9% compared to the same quarter of last year.

Consumption of finished products could reach to 6.9 million tonnes by recording an increase of 7.4%, the association estimates, of which 3.51 million tonnes were longs and 3.38 million tonnes were flats.

“In spite of all stagnation in [the] European Union, the local market as well as other export markets could boost our production of long and flat products significantly in first quarter of 2012,” one trader said.

“We recorded an increase of about 20% for production of long products in first quarter which is a satisfying growth. We could raise production of flat products by a rate half of the rate for long products as Turkish long products are more competitive both in local and foreign markets.

“There is an expectation for rising production of steel in coming months by Turkey as we are close to Turkish construction season while there is a flourishing market for Turkish steel in the Middle East and North Africa.”

One economic advisor of a Turkish steel maker said that the country’s traditional role as a supplier to other countries’ construction projects could in future see an emphasis on its domestic market, particularly infrastructure and housing. But intense pricing competition internationally may mean the country’s mills need to address its typical offer levels.

“Naturally both of those two derivatives - foreign and local markets demand - could boost our production of long products fairly. [But] we are not able to record a rate of 20% growth for flat products as our prices are not so competitive yet."

"Now you can see that the local market also has been occupied by cheap materials from [the] CIS [region].”

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