Turkey's steel exports dropped in volume this year by 4.5 percent from the previous year after Chinese steel was dumped on to international metal markets, the chair of Turkey’s steel exporters’ body has claimed.
Speaking on Tuesday, Namik Ekinci said that Turkey earned 4.3 percent less from its steel exports in 2014 compared to 2013.
Global demand has slackened amid a slowing economy and conflict in the Middle East. Turkish steel is not competitive with value-added products from other producers such as South Korea.
The country produced 17.5 million tons of steel and earned $13.3 billion in revenue from sales. Despite the decline in exports this year, Turkey ranked as the world’s eighth-largest exporter of steel in volume terms.
Turkey is also still the world's largest exporter of rebar, selling 7.7 million tons last year.
The Middle East remained the largest buyer of Turkish steel with 6.2 million tons, followed by the European countries with 2.8 million tons, countries in North America with 2.7 million tons, and North African countries with 1.8 million tons.
China’s steel exporters hit Turkish export markets by supplying cheap products, according to Ekinci.
China can supply cheap steel to markets due to grants plus cheap labor and power. The country is also benefiting from a plunge in the cost of raw materials such as iron last year. China’s production could exceed 80 million tons last year according to official data.
Ekinci also said that Turkish steel exports were also hit by anti-dumping cases against the country's exporters.
"The industry only uses 70 percent of its capacity. It is a must for the Turkish steel industry to have research and development and technology investments," Ekinci said in early Nov. of last year.
"The industry needs a structural change. We continue to work in this direction, and we will overcome these obstacles with the support of the Economy Ministry."
Turkey made $13.9 billion in revenue from the 18.4 million tons of steel it sold overseas in 2013, compared to the $15.6 billion in revenue from the 19.9 million tons in 2012.