IREPAS chairman: Protectionism is now in fashion

Monday, 23 September 2019 11:10:57 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

At the opening of the SteelOrbis 2019 Fall Conference & 81st IREPAS Meeting held in Düsseldorf on September 22-24, Murat Cebecioglu, chairman of IREPAS, the global association of producers and exporters of long steel products, and also export manager of Turkish steelmaker ICDAS, welcomed all the participants to the event. The SteelOrbis 2019 Fall Conference & 81st IREPAS Meeting has gathered together more than 400 participants, including a total of 137 representatives from 52 steel producers from 20 countries and 76 representatives from 38 raw material suppliers.

The IREPAS chairman said that the steel industry is still experiencing a difficult period for global trade amid unjustified trade measures, first from the US and then similar protectionist reactions from some other countries as well. He reiterated that IREPAS has always and will always support free and fair trade in the steel industry, adding, however, that it is clear that protectionism is now in fashion.

The ICDAS official noted that the market is distressed, with producers idling facilities and extending maintenance periods, resulting in lower capacity utilization rates. Meanwhile, Chinese steel consumption is at very high levels and, despite the escalating trade tension between China and the US, Chinese exports are at the same level as in past years, “which is good news”, Mr. Cebecioglu said.

He underlined that the fact that the trade dispute escalation has not become a full-fledged trade war is the only positive factor in the market.

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