The European Commission extended steel import limitations in order to counter concerns that European Union markets are being flooded with steel no longer being exported to the United States. This threatens the survival of Turkish mills that are already collapsing under the weight of US tariffs.
As reported by Reuters, the Commission said on Wednesday January 16th it will extend and beef up its existing “safeguard” steel import caps until July 2021. For Turkey’s steel sector, the fourth largest contributor to its national economy, the caps could prove particularly painful.
“Our export markets have disappeared, the local market hardly exists, we’ve got lots of capacity and no market,” said a London-based Turkish steel trader.
“(EU) quotas for (Turkish) rebar are extremely low and will be exceeded in the first one or two months. Local demand is also extremely poor,” Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association (CIB) head Adnan Aslan said, according to Reuters.
Major Turkish mills such as Cebitas and Ekinciler said that before the EU announcement they had already slashed output whilst Koc Metalurji said it had stopped output for about a month. Erdemir, Turkey’s largest producer said it was producing as normal.