TCUD: 2021 will be better for Turkey’s steel sector

Friday, 05 February 2021 13:41:15 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Crude steel production in Turkey increased by 17.7 percent year on year in December last year to 3.4 million mt, according to a statement released by the Turkish Steel Producers’ Association (TCUD). In 2020, Turkey’s crude steel production totaled 35.8 million mt, rising by six percent year on year. In the fourth quarter last year, the country’s crude steel production rose by 16.2 percent year on year.

In 2020 overall, Turkey’s finished steel consumption rose by 12.9 percent to 29.4 million mt, while in December alone finished steel consumption in Turkey decreased by 10.3 percent to 2.4 million mt, both year on year. In the fourth quarter of last year, the country’s finished steel consumption increased by 6.6 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2019.

In December, Turkey’s steel exports increased by 22.1 percent to 1.8 million mt, while the value of these exports increased by 36.9 percent to $983 million, year on year. Exports in 2020 stood at 16.6 million mt, down by 5.5 percent year on year, while the value of exports during this period was $8.6 billion, down by 10.9 percent year on year.

In December, Turkey’s steel imports decreased by 31.9 percent to 994,000 mt, due to insufficient supply amid the rapid increase in demand in the international market, while the value of these imports moved down by 11.9 percent to $724 million, both year on year. In 2020, steel imports increased by 4.5 percent to 12.5 million mt, while the value of these imports decreased by 2.9 percent to $7.7 billion, both year on year.

According to the association, Turkey’s crude steel production entered a recovery trend, partly due to the control of the pandemic since June and the economic stability measures taken. In 2020, Turkey produced 35.8 million mt of crude steel and became the seventh largest crude steel producer in Europe, leaving Germany behind. The upward trend in imports continued and the share of imports in the country’s consumption stood at 43 percent. The Turkish steel sector closed 2020 with an increase in production, despite the narrowing effect of the pandemic and the protection measures applied in export markets. The TCUD forecasts that, if the impact of the pandemic is reduced and protection measures are relaxed, 2021 will be a better year than the previous year, and the increase in local production and consumption will exceed the level recorded in 2017. Following the demand recovery in the international market, the additional demand caused by steelmakers focusing on the domestic market has temporarily disrupted the supply of steel products. The demand in question grew exponentially due to additional demand from consumers seeking to strengthen their stocks. The high rate of increase in demand was sought to be satisfied, partially by postponing export commitments and by increasing production. Although the softening trends of iron ore and scrap prices in January were not reflected in prices in the US and the EU, they led to decreases of up to $50 in finished product prices in the Turkish market and other markets. The TCUD stated that, after the stabilization of input production in the coming months, new balances may occur in finished product prices as input prices decrease to more reasonable levels. Within the framework of these new balances, production and consumption activities are expected to continue steadily.

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