Speaking at the “New Horizons in Global Steel Markets” 15th Annual Conference held online by SteelOrbis on December 1-3, Uğur Dalbeler, general manager of Turkish steelmaker Çolakoğlu Metalurji, platinum sponsor of the conference, commented on Turkish steel industry’s performance in 2020 against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic and also shared his forecasts for the approaching year.
Stating that Turkish steel producers have gained an advantage with China focusing on its domestic market and being almost out of the export markets, Mr. Dalbaler said that this situation will create positive sentiment for next year if sustained. He stated that, after almost 25 years, 2020 has been the first year in which Turkish mills have exported to China, though Turkey’s steel exports are still far from reaching the export levels of previous years. According to the Çolakoğlu official, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) signed by ASEAN countries will support the rises in steel outputs in Japan and South Korea and may impact Turkish steel exports in the coming period.
Commenting on the safeguard measures implemented by the European Union, Mr. Dalbeler said that Turkish mills have only exported at half of their potential to Europe this year so far and are not likely to increase this amount due to current market conditions. According to Dalbeler, several economies which have been negatively impacted by the pandemic this year will try to compensate for their losses in the coming period and therefore safeguard measures in general will remain in spotlight. Also, the Turkish steel industry may experience “a new 2008” if China continues to remain absent from the global arena, he noted.
As for Çolakoğu, Dalbeler stated that, despite all the negative factors, 2020 has been a good year and the company is likely to close the year with no production loss, while they have become an important hot rolled coil supplier to cold rolled coil and galvanized coil producers. Also, he said that Çolakoğlu completed its first production of stainless steel production this year. He also said that, as they received the required certificate in order to supply products to the automotive industry, becoming an approved supplier, they will be able to focus on this market from now on.