In 2017 Turkey's steel exports amounted to 17.8 million tons with an increase of 7.7 percent compared to the previous year, while the value of steel exports rose by 26.4 percent to $11.5 billion, Steel Exporters' Association (ÇİB) Chairman Namık Ekinci informed.
Speaking at a ceremony for the sector, Ekinci said in 2017 the steel exports to the Middle East countries, characterized as traditional markets where political instability persists, experienced a decline.
Ekinci said the fact that some of the export markets are establishing their own steel industry is one of the factors that led to a hard time in the industry, adding that conservative measures taken especially by the U.S. and unfair trade policy investigations have negatively affected the exports.
Noting that the resetting of import tariffs on construction steel, which is the main product of the Turkish steel industry, leaves the sector vulnerable to the countries that export dumping and poor quality products such as Russia, Ukraine and China, Ekinci said while customs walls are rising against these countries all over the world. Despite all these negativities, he said, the Turkish steel sector managed to maintain its rise in exports in 2017. "In 2017, Turkey's steel exports amounted to 17.8 million tons with an increase of 7.7 percent compared to the previous year, while the value-based exports of the sector rose by 26.4 percent to $11.5 billion," Ekinci continued. Despite all kinds of obstacles, Turkey will continue to increase our exports in 2018 and increase our contribution to our country's economy, he added.Steel Exporters' Association Chairman Ekinci said the hottest topic on the steel industry's agenda is the U.S.
Stressing that the U.S. is not acting fair to the rest of the countries, while leaving the door of exemption open to the countries that it calls allies, Ekinci said the implementation of Section 232 by granting privileges to certain countries is against the Turkish steel industry.
"Turkey's exclusion from the countries exempted from tax will cause the doors of the U.S., one of our most important markets, to close and our industry to receive an unrecoverable injury," he said.
Underlining that in an environment where the 25 percent tax decision of the U.S. will disrupt the balance in the world trade, it is very difficult to compensate for such a large market, Ekinci said it is the sector's priority to be among the exempted countries before the law enters into force on March 23, informing that they are in consultation with the Ministry in this regard.