U.S. customs on steel serves Turkish and Russian steelmakers

Dunya Executive - - BUSINESS - KERIM ULKER

The U.S.’s decision to apply tariffs on products from many countries, like Turkey, China, and Brazil, has launched a series of new trade wars. As a result, European Union countries, which have also been targeted, are already changing their export-import map, setting their sights on neighboring countries for trade despite the short period of time since tariffs were applied. Among steel-producing countries, Turkey and Russia are attracting the most attention.

Forecasts for the last quarter of 2018 and going forward into 2019, prepared by the European Steel Producers Association (Eurofer), show that these two countires are on the rise. Turkey now exports the most steel to European Union and has shown the highest increase in steel exports.

According to the Eurofer report, Turkey has exported 726,000 tonnes of steel to Europe in the first 9 months of this year. Russia takes second place with 462,000 tonnes followed by South Korea (427,000 tonnes), India (368,000 tonnes), and China (358,000 tonnes). Rounding out the list are Ukraine, Taiwan, Serbia and Brazil.

Turkey also saw the highest proportional increase with Turkish manufacturers increasing their production by 57 percent in the first nine months compared to the same period last year. Russia comes second again with a 56 percent increase. The sales volume increase to Europe for Chinese producers was 10 percent, compared to 9 percent in South Korea.

As the Russian newspaper Kommersant noted, the U.S.’s 25 percent customs duty on steel exports from the EU mostly worked in favor of Turkish and Russian steelmakers.

Global sales rose by 12.5 percent

Eurofer data on Turkey’s global exports, announced in the first week of October, showed steel exports increased to 14.7 million tonnes, a 12.5 percent, and has reached $10.9 billion, a 34.1 percent increase in the first nine months compared to the same period last year.

“Exports of construction steel, the main export item in Turkish steel industry, rose by 2.9 percent to 4.2 million tonnes from January-September 2018. In terms of value, it rose by 31 percent to $2.3 billion. The products with the highest increase in exports on a quantity basis are flat rolled, wire rod, profile, construction steel and alloy flats respectively,” Turkey ’s Steel Exporters’ Association Chairman, Adnan Aslan, said.

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