Mete Sahin at IREPAS: Turkish billet capacity use may fall to 50 percent in 2015

At the SteelOrbis 2015 Fall Conference & 73rd IREPAS Meeting held in Rome on October 5, Mete Sahin, semi-finished and long products sales manager of Turkey-based steel mill Çolakoğlu Metalurji, said that, after hitting the bottom in 2009, in Turkey GDP, construction, manufacturing and the steel industry saw a quick recovery in 2010, though the domestic steel industry remains under negative pressure with an 8.8 percent decline in crude steel production in the first quarter of 2015.
Mr. Sahin indicated that crude steel production in Turkey decreased by 12 percent in August while falling by seven percent in the January-August period this year, both year on year. Meanwhile, in the first eight months of the year, Turkish crude steel production using blast furnaces increased, while EAF-based production decreased in the given period, resulting in a 15 percent fall in Turkey’s scrap imports in January-August.
Commenting on the capacity utilization estimations for Turkish billet production, the Çolakoğlu official said that since 2012 Turkish billet capacity utilization has been decreasing, while the 2015 forecast stands at 57 percent, though he added that under current market conditions it might even drop down to around 50 percent.
According to Mr. Sahin, finished steel production in Turkey has continued to increase, with flat steel production showing greater growth than long steel production. On the other hand, finished steel consumption is expected to start decreasing in 2016, which will put extra pressure on the scrap trade.
Mr. Sahin pointed out that Turkey’s steel imports from China increased by 67 percent in 2014 and by around 200 percent in the first eight months of 2015, both year on year. In the first six months of 2014, there were no billet imports from China, while billet imports from China amounted to 525,000 mt in the first eight months of the current year and in August alone Turkey imported 375,000 mt. He added that Turkish billet imports from China are expected to reach one million mt in 2015. He also underlined the fact that billet prices around the world, especially in Turkey and the CIS region, are now calculated based on Chinese billet prices.

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