According to the production, consumption and foreign trade data for February announced by the Turkish Steel Producers Association (TÇÜD), Turkey’s crude steel production decreased by 28.9 percent compared to the same month of the previous year and became 2.1 million tons. Crude steel production, in the first 2 months of the year, decreased by 23.1 percent to 4.7 million tons.
Finished steel consumption was recorded as 2.5 million tons in February with a decrease of 12 percent on an annual basis, and 5.5 million tons with a decrease of 7.7 percent in the January-February period.
Exports of steel products decreased by 47.3 percent
In February, exports of steel products fell to 675 thousand tons with a decrease of 47.3 percent on an annual basis in terms of quantity, and to 582 million dollars with a decrease of 50.5 percent in terms of value.
In the January-February period, compared to the same period of the previous year, exports amounted to 1.4 million tons with a decrease of 44.9% in quantity, and 1.2 billion dollars in value with a loss of 49.5 percent.
10,7 percent decline in imports
In February, imports of steel products decreased by 10.7 percent in terms of quantity compared to the same month of 2022 and amounted to 1.3 million tons, and decreased by 32 percent in value to 1 billion dollars.
In the first 2 months of the year, imports decreased to 2.5 million tons with a 10 percent loss compared to the same period of the previous year, and to 2.1 billion dollars with a 27 percent decrease in value.
The ratio of exports to imports, which was 80.1 percent in the January-February period of last year, decreased to 55.3 percent in the same period of this year.
“It is expected that the losses will be partially compensated in the coming months”
TÇÜD Secretary General Veysel Yayan, whose views are included in the statement, said, “As a result of the production cuts in the steel facilities, which have about 32 percent of Turkey’s crude steel production capacity and production, in the Iskenderun and Osmaniye regions due to the earthquakes that occurred in February, production decreased on an annual basis.” used the phrase.
Emphasizing that the Turkish steel industry ranks 10th after Germany, Brazil and Iran, with 2 million 104 thousand tons of crude steel production, Yayan stated that exports fell by 45 percent in the first 2 months of the year due to the fact that the negative impact of the increase in energy costs continued, despite the reductions made.
Stating that countries such as Algeria and Egypt, which have comparative advantages in terms of natural gas, started to take a share from Turkey’s export markets, Yayan made the following assessment:
“In case the natural gas prices are reduced to the price levels in Europe, it is expected that the losses in exports will be partially compensated in the coming months by increasing our competitiveness and targeting new markets such as the Balkans, South America and Africa through trade delegation organizations,” he said.
On the other hand, Yayan pointed out that despite the 10 percent decrease in imports, the extraordinary increases in imports from countries such as Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam caused great discomfort in the steel industry.
Emphasizing that the postponement of the import duty decision on flat steel products, which was previously postponed to April 1, to May 1 this time, increased the concerns that the deficit in steel foreign trade might grow even more, Yayan said:
“As of February, BOTAŞ lowered the wholesale prices of natural gas for large industrial establishments, announced that the reductions in natural gas tariffs used by industrialists would continue at the level of 20 percent, and the producers operating in the earthquake zone started their production. As a result of the increased demand for scrap, which is the raw material of recycled steel products within the scope of green recycling, at the end of January, EUROFER made a request from the EU to add scrap to the list of critical raw materials and As India gradually increases its demand for scrap within the scope of green transformation, it is vital to take the necessary measures to ensure that our industry does not encounter problems in accessing scrap.”