In a notable turn of events, the Türkish steel industry is witnessing a substantial shift in trade dynamics, particularly in the import of steel billets. The first nine months of 2023 have seen a remarkable 43.3% surge in steel billet imports compared to the corresponding period last year, reaching an impressive 2.58 million tons. This surge reflects a strategic response to the mounting production costs faced by Türkish steelmakers, prompting a calculated increase in the import of intermediate steel to maintain operational efficiency.
Conversely, Türkiye's steel export landscape presents a challenge. Exports of steel billets during the same period have experienced a significant decline, plummeting by 83.3% compared to the first nine months of the previous year. The factors influencing this decline raise questions about the external forces impacting Türkiye's steel export capabilities.
Iran, however, charts a different course. Steel billet exports from Iran to Türkiye have demonstrated a commendable growth of 26.1% in the first nine months of 2023, reaching an approximate volume of 102,000 tons. While this growth is noteworthy, it remains within modest bounds within the broader context of the global steel trade.
Examining the origins of Türkiye's steel imports, Russia emerges as a pivotal participant, holding a substantial share of over 46% in the total exports of steel billets to Türkiye. This underscores the influential role that major contributors like Russia play in shaping the intricate web of global steel trade relationships.
The complex interplay of supply and demand in the global steel market persists, with Türkiye's import surge and export challenges contributing significantly to this intricate puzzle.