Turkish exporters: Our targets are L. America, SE Asia and W. Africa

Friday, 17 January 2020 10:35:40 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

The Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association has issued its assessment of 2019 and its expectations for 2020 as follows:

Assessment of 2019

Having provided an important contribution to Turkey’s economy, the Turkish steel sector’s primary topic in 2019 were the protectionist measures imposed in its major export markets, such as the US, the EU and Canada. With the end of 2019, after showing the maximum effort to increase our exports despite unjust protectionist measures, we foresee our exports in 2019 will exceed 20 million mt in quantity, while we believe our exports will fall behind the $15.6 billion in value recorded in the previous year.

In the first 11 months of 2019, deformed bar, hot rolled flats and welded pipes were the first three products - in that respective order - that returned the maximum value in our export sales. However, unfortunately, these products were also the leading ones that recorded the maximum declines in export quantity. Meanwhile, the highest increases in terms of exports were observed in billet and flat coated steel.

In the January-November period of 2019, our exports to the US fell by 72 percent in quantity, while the fall recorded in our exports to the EU was 18 percent. Higher demand for Turkish steel products in the Middle East and Africa regions is the reason why we can achieve above 20 million mt of exports in 2019, despite the losses in such export markets.

Expectations for 2020

At the Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association, we will continue to introduce Turkish steel to the world, to expand our export range and defend our sector in 2020 against the protectionist policies we face. Our biggest expectation for 2020 is for steel trading countries to abide by the rules of the World Trade Organization and to renounce their unjust protectionist measures as soon as possible. Saying this, we will continue to closely follow the process carried out by our Ministry of Commerce to revoke these measures.

In line with our quest to find new markets, we will organize trade missions to those regions and countries where we have unsatisfactory market shares. The Turkish steel sector, which concludes export sales to 197 countries, has designated Latin America, Southeast Asia and West Africa as its target markets. Additionally, we observe that our exporters do not fully appreciate the potential of the regions and countries where we have a low market share such as Mexico, Peru, Chile, Nigeria, Ghana and the Republic of Ivory Coast. Therefore, in 2020, we will work for higher export sales to these countries.

Meanwhile, we are aware of the significant importance of the advantages created by investments targeting value-added products. However, we also believe that these investments are insufficient for the sector. Hence, we will continue our work with the knowledge that value-added products will reduce imports just as they will contribute to higher exports.

Our mission as the Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association is to improve steel exports. In line with this objective, we will continue to show the maximum effort in 2020 and stand with our exporters under all conditions.


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