Veysel Yayan at YISAD: Main problem in global steel market is trade measures

Tuesday, 30 April 2019 16:48:39 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Speaking at the 7th YISAD Flat Steel Conference & SteelOrbis Market Talks held in Istanbul on April 30, Veysel Yayan, general secretary of the Turkish Steel Producers Association (TCUD), discussed the issue of trade measures in the global market. He pointed out that, while US officials are stating on international platforms that China’s subsidies to its steel industry should be investigated, the main problem for the global steel industry is trade measures. Such double standard practices are steering global trade, he said. Stating that the 50 percent import duty being imposed on Turkish steel exporters lack any legal grounds, he said that this is why it had been expected that the duty would be lowered to the same level as for other countries. However, this situation is not expected to change at present, he added. He further stated that the EU, which criticizes the US for applying unfair trade measures, has done almost the same thing by announcing quotas on country basis.

The TCUD official also shared recent Turkish steel industry data with the attendees at the Istanbul event. According to the data, Turkey dropped to ninth from eighth place among the leading steel producing countries in the world in the first three month of this year, though it is expected to move up again in the coming period. Capacity utilization rates of Turkish steel mills, which were at 70 percent in 2018, are now at 63 percent, and this situation is mostly due to the declines in long steel producers’ capacity utilization rates. The situation of flat steel producers in Turkey seems comparatively better and the share of flat steel production in Turkey’s overall steel output is expected to increase to 50 percent from the current level of nearly 40 percent. Capacity utilization rates in slab production in Turkey are at 72 percent and slab’s share of the total crude steel production volume is almost 40 percent and this is expected to increase in future years. Meanwhile, in the first two months of this year, Turkey’s steel exports totaled 1.8 million mt, while its steel imports amounted to 800,000 mt.

Mr. Yayan stated that in particular the decline in long steel consumption in Turkey is negatively impacting the Turkish steel industry. He affirmed, however, that, despite all unpleasant repercussions resulting from trade measures and difficulties experienced by market players, the industry has the ability to sustain steady growth in the coming period.

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