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"Have Your Say – Steel Talks" discussed imports in the Turkish steel industry

The "Have Your Say - Steel Talks" event, organized online by the Steel Foreign Trade Association (ÇDTD), was held with the participation of important names from the industry.

"Have Your Say – Steel Talks" discussed imports in the Turkish steel industry

At the event, which was opened by Namık Ekinci, Co-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ekinciler Holding, and moderated by Mehmet Çakmur, Member of the Board of Directors of Kocaer Çelik, imports in the steel industry and the impact of imports on the sector were discussed.

Mehmet Çakmur started his speech by stating that we wanted to talk about imports, which are considered taboo in Turkey, and said, “No one wants to use imports and they want to remove it from their name. Our steel industry has come to this day with imports and semi-finished imports. And now they have become an important industry. When you talk about imports in Turkey, there are a few countries that are constantly maligned: Ukraine and Russia. They have always been maligned. Russia and Ukraine have been good neighbors for Turkey. They have always supplied semi-finished products and ensured the development of Turkish industry. Imports have always been important in our industry. Our iron and steel producers complain about this import. We are the only country whose semi-finished product manufacturing is protected," he said.

MetKim Metal General Manager Osman Türeyyen said, “This is not to disparage all imports. I think Turkey should be classified especially in terms of imports. It should be classified as raw material, intermediate material and finished product. Factories started producing flat and coiled products. We should look at Turkey's steel structural situation. There is no production that goes only from scrap to finished products."

CIEC Group Middle East General Manager Hüseyin Ocakçı said, “Unfortunately, imports increased in 2023. China's biggest market was Turkey. It was a year when our company made record sales and closed with minimal profit. While our exports were high in long products before, we have now lost ground in hot rolled steel. We need to increase our bilateral relations between countries. In this period, when prices increase in Turkey, there is a tendency towards other countries." Said.

Prices for raw materials need to be competitive

Sector Consultant and Board Member Asuman Gürsoy, who started his speech by saying that the capacity increase in our country is high, said: “Access to cheap raw materials is one of the major factors affecting imports. There is a delay in raw material delivery. How can there be a delay while operating at 50% capacity? We should not rely too much on the year 2023. He directed people to purchase hot rolled sheets. I think imports will gradually decrease. Prices for raw materials need to be competitive. I'm talking about galvanized and painted. We are opening an investigation to prevent imports to India, China and Russia. I don't know if it will be concluded positively. Imports are made because conditions have become difficult."

"We need to evaluate imports on a product basis"

Mehmet Zeren, Secretary General of the Steel Pipe Manufacturers Association, said that we cannot get anywhere if we discuss why steel imports are increasing and added: “We need to evaluate imports on a product basis. HRC production in Turkey will reach 10.5 mt in 2022. consumption was 13.0 million tons, 10.6 million were produced in 2023. 1.5 mt of this was exported. 4.5 mt. import has been made. The main reason for this is that production cannot meet consumption. Another reason is deadline. This leads to imports. A deadline is given but it is not delivered on time. Another reason is rebar. Although it produces the same method as flat products in terms of both method and raw material, HRC sales are made in dollars and rebar is made in TL. This creates a disadvantage. Also, the tax rate applied to HRC in Turkey is high. A tax of 15% is applied. When we look at other steel producing countries, no one applies this high. Most countries do not impose taxes. And then a dumping investigation is opened. We have problems in terms of access to raw materials. Prices also rise domestically, where you impose a 15% customs duty. We compete abroad mostly with Chinese and Indian companies. They are in an advantageous position over us because they supply raw materials cheaply. We conveyed the tax on Slab to the Ministry many times, but it was of no use. I think the tax applied to Slab imports is only in Turkey in the world.”

Borçelik Domestic Sales Director Ozan Faik Tumba said, As CRCs, we are experiencing very difficult times. Russia-Ukraine war antidumping cases. These affected the industry badly. If we look at the import rate based on total capacity, it is misleading. Flats need to be evaluated as idle capacities and upcoming capacities. New resources are being created. Some companies include a plan to increase their capacity. Cold sheet-galvanized sheet import duties have increased to 13% again. Even though there are taxes added on imports, prices remain below the Turkish market. Current protection methods have caused hot and galvanized sheet metal to rise. I think imports from countries with free trade agreements will continue. Said.

"The Turkish steel industry is also in a transformation"

Bilecik Demirçelik General Manager Muammer Bilgiç said, "It is strange to meet 50% of our increasing consumption with imports. There is a difference between our domestic demand and the steel structuring. The Turkish steel industry is also in a transformation. Ribbed bar will one day direct its leadership to flat products and other products. Because new investments Most of it is in flat products. Ribbed bars are losing their importance. It is a great fact that we will lose our competitive advantage in low value-added commercial products. We will experience difficulties in these products. There is an increase in domestic demand. We are a society that produces steel at the level of Germany and Japan. However, production and consumption do not fully meet each other. And "It's as if we are experiencing the pain of this. How many million tons we are ranked is something that should be left behind. We are far from being competitive. This only happened in 2021. Our business model was wrong. It does not mean that the very high production we made with cheap electricity is right."

“Energy management is most important issue to us”

Bilgiç continued his words by saying that the steel sector is a very important sector and said, “The value chain of the ribbed bar is the shortest value chain. The ribbed sector deserved to be protected for many years. Current protection measures are temporary. Without product type transformation, we will be left behind. The steel industry needs a new definition. Energy management is very important to us. And it is one of the most important problems ahead. Everyone needs to prepare themselves accordingly. The Turkish steel industry will change in product type. Very serious investments will be needed here. Said.

“Exports and domestic demand need to be balanced”

POSCO Sales Engineer Mehmet Nuri Güngördü described these discussions as pre-birth pains. Stating that Turkey has become a pioneer in the construction sector with significant increases in the last 50 years, Güngördü said, “However, I think this process will happen with flat steel. 6-7 in steel casting. Being next in line and surpassing Germany should not be the determining factor for Turkey. Our customers were unable to export without importing. Exports and domestic demand need to be balanced. Coated manufacturers cannot turn to automotive." He concluded his words by saying.


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SteelRadar Insight - Sayı 1 (Haziran 2024)

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