LONDON — Turkey's demand for imported scrap could suffer as a result of the United States applying tariffs on steel shipments from the country, a spokeswoman for German steel recycling association BDSV told Metal Bulletin on Monday March 12.
Lower demand for Turkish steel in the US under tariffs could drive the country's steel production down and, in turn, lower its demand for scrap, the spokeswoman said.
Although Turkey's scrap import prices would then probably come under pressure, this would not push German scrap prices down if domestic demand in the European country were to remain strong, she added.
Turkey is the principal export destination for German ferrous scrap, according to the BDSV, with 12 million tonnes sold in 2017. Meanwhile, Germany exports around 1 million tonnes per year of finished steel to the US.
“With punitive US tariffs on steel, the sales market in Turkey could weaken [if] cheap imported steel floods the [global] market,” the group said in a separate statement on March 8.
US President Donald Trump officially enacted import duties of 25% on US steel product imports on March 8.
Turkish scrap import prices have remained largely stable since the announcement on March 1 that tariffs would be applied but Chinese futures prices have fallen sharply.
Metal Bulletin’s daily index for an 80:20 mix of No. 1 and No. 2 heavy melting scrap in northern Europe was $367.69 per tonne cfr on March 9, down by $1.20 per tonne from the previous day. It retained that value on March 12.
Turkish steel exporters association ÇIB said on Friday that the 25% tariff on US steel imports will not affect Turkish exports as long as the tariff is applied equally to all countries.
Since then, however, exemptions from the tariffs have been confirmed for North American Free Trade Agreement nations Mexico and Canada, along with Australia.
ÇIB chairman Namik Ekinci has said that “the exemptions of Mexico and Canada will cause several new problems and are not right.”
American Institute for International Steel chairman John Foster has also written to Trump asking him to exempt Turkish steel from any tariffs or quotas to be applied under Section 232.