Turkish steel production in January grew year-on-year by 17.3% for the first time since the 2.6% increase in April 2019, according to Turkish Steel Producers’ Association (TCUD). The association continues to see Iran's growing steel output as a threat to the supply-demand balance.
“Although this increase is welcomed, due to the drop of -19.4% in January 2019, steel production in January [… 2020] was still below 3.2 million tonnes in January 2018.” Says TCUD general secretary Veysel Yayan.
He reminds that the tendency to meet the rapid increase in steel consumption in the final months of 2019 by import, not by domestic supply, continued in January. “Imports, which increased by 100.6% in December, increased by 48.6% in January, causing serious discomfort...” he says.
He also recalls that Chinese steel production grew by 7.2% in January while world steel production increased only by 2.1%. ”... contrary to expectations, China has not been adversely affected by the coronavirus outbreak,” he continues.
Yayan also draws attention to Iran's steel production. “While major steel-producing countries experienced production losses, Iran's production increased by 47% in January and Iran ranked as the 8th largest steel producer. This can be considered as an indication that Iran will pose an important threat for the coming period,” he adds.
The recovery that began in Turkish domestic steel consumption in the final months of 2019 continued to accelerate in January. Turkish finished steel consumption increased considerably by 58.2% on-year to 2.7 million tonnes, while production increased by 17.3% to 3mt.
Steel exports in January amounted to 1.9mt, up 0.6% on-year, although in value terms they fell by -5.5% to $1.3 billion. In the same period, imports rose by 48.6% to 1.4mt and by 17.7% to $950 million. Due to the sharp increase in imports, the ratio of exports to imports decreased, from 172:100 last year, to 138:100 in January.
On the other hand, global crude steel production reached 154 million tonnes in January, with an increase of 2.1% on-year. Turkey was ranked seventh-largest producer with 3mt, up 17.3% on-year, Kallanish notes.