Turkey’s Steel Exports Overview

In 2018 Turkey’s steel exports totaled 4 percent of all steel exported with 22 percent increase from 2017, when Turkey was world’s eighth largest steel exporter. Turkey’s steel exports represented 7.6 percent of the total amount of goods country exported last year. Targeting over 200 countries, Turkey exported 8.7 million tons of steel and increased the exports’ value 40 percent during 2018.

Following the recession in 2009, Turkish exports have grown 13.8 percent, while imports have been historically flat. Recent volatility stemmed from import tariffs and quotas in steel sector have impacted steel imports. Last year, Turkey’s steel trade surplus increased to 9.5 million metric tons from 6.6 million metric tons with 231 percent YoY increase.

Turkey’s steel exports volume reached 19.8 million metric tons with 22 percent increase, whereas overall value jumped 40 percent to $12.8 billion from $9.1 billion in 2017.

With 10.7 million metric tons, Turkish steel long products accounted for 54 percent, flat products for 30 percent with 6 million metric tons, followed by steel pipes and tubes at 10 percent with 2 million metric tons. Semi-finished steel products totaled 5 percent with 1 million metric tons and stainless-steel products were at 1 percent with 132 thousand metric tons.

Turkish Steel Exporters Face Tariffs

Historically, European industries have been the largest market for Turkish steel exporters. In 2018 Italy was the largest market with 9 percent, Spain was second with 6 percent, Belgium and Romania at 5 percent of steel exports. Outside of EU zone, exports to Israel and United states were 7 percent and 5 percent respectively.

In last two years period, Turkey’s steel exports volume grew 9 percent. In 2018, introduction of new tariffs and quotas on steel and aluminum outlined in US Section 232, impacted the exports volume to United States by 38 percent. On the other hand, local steel exporters targeted other markets to balance the losses via significant exports’ volume increases to Canada (92%), Italy (80%), Spain (54%), and Romania (53%).

25 percent share of exported flat products (1.5 million tons) went to Italy, 15 percent (915 thousand tons) to Spain. Exports of flat steel products to Israel amounted 11 percent with 1.2 million tons. 9 percent of Turkey’s flat products were imported by Belgium (516 thousand tons).

Steel pipes and tubes were the second most exported products in 2018. Romania (16 percent with 304 metric tons) was followed by United States (14 percent with 271 thousand tons), and United Kingdom (10 percent with 204 thousand tons) in 2018.

Parallel to exported steel flat products, stainless steel exports’ top destination was Italy with 23 percent share totaling 30 thousand tons.

Demand for semi-finished steel products were highest from Tunisia, accounting for 18 percent (181 thousand tons). Philippines also significantly imported semi-finished steel products with 13 percent (135 thousand tons) from Turkey last year.

Despite Section 232, United States was the fourth largest export market for flat products at 8 percent (460 thousand tons), and second largest export market for pipe and tube products at 14 percent (271 thousand tons).


International Trade Administration

International Trade Administration – Steel Exports Turkey