The Turkish Steel Producers Association (TÇÜD) has warned that Turkey could become an open market for dumped steel imports unless swift action is taken by the government.
Turkey’s steel exports fell by 3.9% to 8.14 million tonnes in January-May 2018 while steel imports increased by 18% to 7.5 million tonnes, TÇÜD said on Wednesday July 11.
The main reason for the decline in Turkey’s steel exports is the Section 232 decision by the United States, which imposed a 25% duty on steel imports, the association said, adding that on top of the decline in exports dumped steel products were being diverted to Turkey after losing access to the US market.
The association in April had called for new trade measures to protect the domestic steel industry in Turkey.
Turkey's Ministry of Economy started an investigation into the impact of steel imports on the country's domestic steelmaking industry on April 27, but it will not be finalized until late January 2019 at the earliest.
Turkey produced 15.85 million tonnes of crude steel in January-May 2018, up 4.3% from the corresponding period in 2017.
Turkey produces, imports and exports steel products and TÇÜD has warned against increasing imports of these products at lower prices.
For instance, Metal Bulletin’s weekly price assessment for Turkish domestic hot-rolled coil was $615-625 per tonne ex-works on July 6 and the weekly price assessment for Turkish HRC imports was $585-595 per tonne cfr on July 6.
Metal Bulletin's weekly price assessment for Turkish HRC exports was $615-620 per tonne fob on July 6.
Turkish producers have had to cut their prices to be competitive against dumped imports or they keep their capacity idle because they cannot compete with the low prices, one Turkish trader said, adding that new import duties would help producers utilize their idle capacities.
As a consequence, steel prices in the country’s local market could increase because dumped imports will no longer be available, he said.