|Slow local demand and protectionist policies globally to hurt steel exports next year - CIB
|Turkey - 2018 December 20
Turkish steel production and exports are seen falling by some 30 pct in 2019, hit by weak domestic demand, protectionist measures in international markets and an increase in China's steel exports, the head of the Steel Exporters Association (CIB) said.
Turkey, the world's eighth-largest steel producer and tenth-biggest exporter, has been battered by a currency crisis this year that saw the lira plunge more than 47 pct against the dollar and sent inflation to 25 pct. The crisis has knocked economic growth and hit domestic demand.
He said the capacity usage rate could fall to 60-65 pct from 80 pct this year.
The automotive industry market contracted 32 pct between January and October, white goods sales dropped 17 pct between January and November, while the construction sector contracted 5.3 pct in the third quarter.
Steel exports could drop to around 15-16 mln tons in 2019 from an expected 20.5 mln tons in 2018, Aslan said, citing an expected increase in steel exports from China.
"China is lowering its growth data. This means there will be a contraction in the domestic market, therefore it will increase exports again," he said, adding he expected China to return to an "aggressive" export policy in 2019.
Chinese steel producers ran up losses for the first time in three years in November as prices slid into a bear market on weak demand and near-record supply, ending years of solid profit margins.
Turkey's steel industry is also facing setbacks due to additional tariffs from the United States on Turkish steel imports, as well as global protectionist policies, Aslan said, adding that Turkish companies would look for opportunities in Latin America.
The United States doubled tariffs on Turkish steel in August, bringing the total to 50 pct.