Turkish steel mills’ capacity utilisation slumped to 55pc in January-October, down from 65.4pc a year earlier, reflecting poor demand and weak margins, Turkish steel association general secretary Veysel Yayan said at an industry conference in Istanbul this week.
The global rate was 75.3 %, up slightly from 74.3 %.
Turkish crude steel production fell by 8.8pc on the year to 27.5mn t in January-October, reflecting stoppages after the February earthquakes and high energy prices.
Turkish steel exports in January-September fell to 7.5 million t from 12.4mn t a year earlier.
Turkish steel imports are on the rise, with the country becoming a net importer from the EU, and it is now the world’s fourth-largest steel importer. Flat product imports totalled 6.7mn t in January-September, up by 9.8pc on the year. These imports met nearly half Turkey’s flat steel demand, which has risen this year, Yayan said.
Steelmaker Colakoglu’s business development and overseas director, Tayfun Iseri, said at the conference that the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East, further possible earthquakes in Turkey and high inflation and interest rates could pose headwinds to imports.
But inflation seems to be easing in most major economies and the pace of interest rate hikes is expected to slow, World Steel Association industry analysis director Baris Ciftci said. Purchasing managers’ indexes also show the rate of decline in production, new orders and new export business is declining, he added.