Oytun Özdoğan: Contractions in domestic market increase pressure to export

Tuesday, 19 November 2019 10:29:23 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

We talked to Oytun Özdoğan, export manager of Turkish steel producer Kaptan Metal, about current situation and expectations of liquid steel producers.

Could you give us some information about your product range and capacity?

We produce deformed rebar, plain round bar and billet and we have 1,250,000 mt of rebar capacity and 1,400,000 mt of billet capacity.

We know that capacity utilization rates have decreased due to the current market conditions. How much do you use of your own capacity?

We are currently using 85 percent of our capacity. Market shares have seen some decrease due to the duties implemented by some countries. Meanwhile, there has been some decline in both demand and sales volumes, driven by the contractions in the markets, which has led mills to cut production.

As regards price trends, how do you think 2019 will end and the first quarter of 2020 will start?

As compared to the beginning of the year, prices have seen sharp declines and are expected to remain at these lower levels. Looking at the overall situation worldwide, we expect the conditions in the last quarter of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 to be tough.

What changes have you encountered with the shrinkage observed both in the domestic and export markets?

The contractions in the domestic market have increased the pressure to export to ensure the sustainability of production. Pricing has become more aggressive, while there has been a turning towards new markets.

How have the protectionist measures, particularly the US duties and EU quotas, impacted your company’s steel trade and also Turkish steel trade in general?

We have already experienced such periods during which the US market, which has a vital role in Turkey’s export activity, has become closed and shipments have halted. The sales volumes have also decreased due to the EU’s quota measures which have limited tonnages.

With the loss of traditional markets, which alternative markets have you turned to?

We have turned to the Far East markets, given the current market conditions.

Do you have any new products or grades you plan to add to your product range?

We have started producing wire rod and wire rod in coil.

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