Producers at IREPAS: Turkish exporters will keep enjoying sales opportunities in Far East

Tuesday, 16 March 2021 12:08:13 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

At the SteelOrbis 2021 Spring Conference & 84th IREPAS Meeting held virtually on March 15, Murat Cebecioğlu from Turkish steel producer ICDAS, chairman of IREPAS and also chairman of the producers committee at the virtual event, said that global steel production had increased by 4.8 percent in January and it seems that it will maintain its upward trend. He indicated that market sentiment is quite good with producers having more orders than usual. “The construction season is about to begin in most parts of the world and, together with vaccinations and strong investments, there will be strong demand in the coming months. Plus, producers have the flexibility to adjust their production according to the changing market conditions,” Mr. Cebecioğlu said.

Commenting on China’s scrap imports, the committee chairman said that, considering China’s production capacity, the country needs to lower its dependence on imported iron ore, adding that Chinese blast furnace-based production will be reduced and EAFs will take over, putting pressure on scrap prices as a result. He underlined that import procedures for scrap are very strict in China with inspections mandatory, forcing importers to prefer premium grade scrap. He went on to say that he expects China’s scrap imports to increase.

Regarding whether the EU safeguard measures will be extended or not, the IREPAS chairman said that the Turkish government has submitted comments strongly opposing the extension, adding that he does not expect the EU to extend the measures. He said he believed that, if the extension is granted, this will give Turkey and other affected countries the right to retaliate.

Mr. Cebecioğlu also said that Turkish rebar exporters are still selling more or less the same tonnages, even though they have lost the EU and US markets because of trade measures. He went on to say that, as long as the Chinese competition remains weak, Turkey will continue selling to the Far East, with Hong Kong and Singapore being the two main destinations for Turkish rebar in the region. According to the IREPAS chairman, the two other leading export markets for Turkish rebar are Yemen and Israel, with Central and South America becoming more regular export destinations as well. He said that, with China focusing on its domestic market, Turkey will keep enjoying sales opportunities especially in the Far East. Commenting on the capacity increases in the Asian markets, Cebecioğlu said that Malaysian and Indonesian materials are also sold to Africa, but they are mostly traded within their own region, thus not bothering Turkish exports. However, he said that what will happen in the future remains to be seen if the Malaysian and Indonesian mills keep increasing their production capacities.

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