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Steel exporters' move to the Balkans

The Steel Exporters' Association (ÇİB) landed in Romania to increase the trade volume between the two countries.

Steel exporters' move to the Balkans

"The Steel Exporters' Association (ÇİB) landed in to Romania in order to increase the trade volume between the two countries. As part of the delegation that took place in Romania with the participation of 25 Turkish steel export companies, the steel sectors of the two countries came together. ÇİB Chairman Adnan Aslan, stating that they are ranked eighth in steel production globally and that they have signed exports worth $21 billion in 2022 despite the pressure of protectionist measures and increasing energy costs, announced that bilateral meetings were held with more than 250 Romanian business people and companies during the delegation. Aslan stated that Romania is the second largest market for Turkish steel exports, saying 'Turkey's exports to Romania are $7 billion. About 18% of this export, which is approximately $1.3 billion, is made by the steel sector. We hope to reach the 15% band this year as well.'

The Turkish steel sector organized a Trade Delegation to Romania to increase its effectiveness in the Balkans, strengthen its ties with Romania, which is its second largest market, and increase trade volume. The ÇİB Delegation, consisting of representatives of 21 firms, participated in the meetings for new business partnerships and joint investments. In the contacts made by ÇİB in Romania, it is aimed to increase the trade volume between the two countries with B2B meetings. ÇİB Chairman Adnan Aslan, who stated that exports decreased by 40% in two months, said 'The earthquake had no effect on the decline in exports. Of the 35 million tons of steel production, 11 million tons are produced in Osmaniye, Hatay, and İskenderun. The domestic market consumes 60-70% of the production in this region.'


Adnan Aslan, stating that Israel has been the biggest market in the steel industry for many years, and after that, Romania is the second largest market, said "Turkey's exports to Romania are $7 billion. Approximately $1.3 billion of this export, which accounts for 18 percent, is from the steel sector. This year, we hope to reach the 15 percent band."

Aslan announced that there will be significant infrastructure investments from the EU in Romania in 2023 and noted that Turkish companies have won contracts both in steel exports and contracting works from the tenders to be held. Aslan also added that the feedback from the trips made to Serbia, Bulgaria, and Hungary in the Balkans was positive, and they are hopeful about the meetings held in Romania.


Aslan stated that as ÇİB, they hold B2B meetings in 5-6 countries every year and that the delegations are interrupted due to the pandemic, and that they will organize Trade Delegations to many countries this year. Stating that they started 2023 fast and visited Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria in turn, Aslan said that after Romania, they will carry out a Trade Delegation to Belgium, the Netherlands, England, Poland, Peru and Chile in the third quarter, and Senegal in West Africa in the last quarter.


Adnan Aslan stated that no country is yet ready for the "European Green Deal Carbon Regulation". "We produce 75% of steel using electric arc furnaces. Three of our companies produce from high-grade ores. The electric arc furnace is the least environmentally impacting production process. Our greenhouse gas emissions from production are less than one-fifth of those from blast furnaces. Therefore, it is easier for us to prepare," he said.

Aslan provided information that steel exports were 21 million tons last year, while imports were two-thirds of that amount, and imports were made mostly in flat products rather than long products. Aslan repeated that exports would drop by 40% this year compared to last year. "We used to fill our quotas in long products in the first two days of each quarter. In flats, we filled it in about a month. In the first quarter of this year, some products did not fill the quota. This does not mean that Romania's exports have decreased, but due to high energy prices, we lost our price advantage, and Romania imported from other countries," he said.


Adnan Aslan stated that after June, electricity and natural gas prices could reach the same level as Europe, and said, "After the second quarter, natural gas and energy prices are coming down. On April 1, there will be a 19% reduction in industrial use of natural gas. As of today, the price of 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas in Europe is 42 euros in the Netherlands. In April, the price of natural gas we will use will be 50 euros, but still at a high level. Energy prices had exceeded $100 per ton 2-3 months ago, and now they have decreased to 70-80 dollars. As the prices of oil and natural gas in the world decrease, both electricity and natural gas prices are decreasing in Turkey."


Aslan stated that exports decreased by 40% in two months, but the earthquake had no impact on the export decrease. He explained that out of 35 million tons of steel produced, 11 million tons were produced in Osmaniye, Hatay, and İskenderun regions, where 60-70% of the production is consumed by the domestic market.

Aslan also emphasized that Turkey is the leading country in long steel exports, saying "Our prices in long steel were at the level of 720 dollars. After the earthquake, it continued around 710 dollars until February 15-16. Then, gradually increased to 750-760 dollars due to the increase in raw material prices. But as of today, prices across Turkey have dropped back to around 720 dollars."


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