Turkey: Exports of metal products reach $6 billion

Exports of iron and steel, aluminum, copper and metal products reached $6 billion 386 million in the first quarter of 2021.

The iron and non-ferrous metals sector (including steel), one of the leading sectors in Turkey’s exports, increased its exports from $5 billion 176 million to $6 billion 386 million in the January-March period of 2021, with an increase of 20% compared to the same period of 2020. The performance of the Aegean Iron and Non-Ferrous Metals Exporters Union, which is the export leader among the 12 exporters unions within the Aegean Exporters Union, in the first quarter of 2021 increased by 14% from $379 million to $435 million. The sector’s March export record is more successful. The sector increased its exports by 53% in March, moving it from $1 billion 652 million to $2 billion 526 million. In March, the Aegean Iron and Non-Ferrous Metals Exporters Association maintained its top position within the EIB with export of $164.7 million, and increased its exports by 38% compared to March 2020.


When the exports of the sector in Turkey are analyzed on the basis of quantity, the export, which was 5 million 628 thousand tons in the first quarter of 2020, reached $5 million 805 thousand with an increase of 3% in the January – March period of 2021. The average export price increased from 920 USD/Ton to 1,100 USD/Ton. The exports of the ferrous and non-ferrous metals sector increased by 20% on a unit price basis. Stating that the increase in raw material prices after the pandemic increased export prices, Yalcin Ertan, Chairman of the Aegean Iron and Non-Ferrous Metals Exporters Association, stated that the increase in container prices and freight prices started to be reflected in the costs.


Underlining that the balance in the global markets has deteriorated with the pandemic and has not yet been achieved, Ertan said, “Despite the changes in global balances and disruptions in supply chains, our iron and steel industry has been through the first quarter of 2021 very successfully. We exported $435 million in the first quarter of our industry, with Italy at the top of Turkey’s exports in March with $190.5 million, $175.5 million to Germany and $150.5 million to Spain. We exported $121.8 million worth of iron and non-ferrous metals products to Romania and $105 million to the USA. Our sales to Iraq, Israel, Peru, England, the Netherlands, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines and China markets are going very well. Products from our Aegean region iron and non-ferrous metals exporter companies are sent to more than 170 countries. This number exceeds 220 in Turkey. In the January-March period of 2021, the lion’s share in iron and non-ferrous metals exports worth $6 billion 386 million was iron and steel products with $4 billion 170 million, while aluminum exports amounted to $947.5 million. While Turkey obtained $487 million of foreign currency from copper exports, the exports of other metals were recorded as $782.6 million.


Yalcin Ertan said that a large part of Turkey is located in the earthquake zone and that Izmir is one of the most dangerous regions. Ertan said, “Unfortunately, we lost many of our citizens in the 6.9 earthquake that took place on October 30, and we remember them. We had to face again with the accuracy of the saying, “building kills, not earthquake”. Earthquake is a natural disaster that we need to fight together and evaluate with scientific data. We are now ready to do our part to build our buildings in an earthquake-resistant state instead of producing remedies after an earthquake.” Emphasizing that the steel structure model, which is an extremely safe model against earthquake with its non-fragile flexible structure, strength and lightness, should be popularized for security, Ertan concluded his words as follows: “Unfortunately, the awareness of the steel construction system in Turkey is very low. While the use of steel systems in Europe and America is around 40%, this figure is around 1% in Turkey. With its structure feature that does not have the risk of corrosion and decay, it provides a significant advantage with its long service life compared to the widely used reinforced concrete model. We plan to carry out studies in the upcoming period to explain the steel construction system to more stakeholders, as it enables large and spacious spaces in terms of design as well as building security and allows the application of aesthetic architecture.”


In his speech, Yalcin Ertan also mentioned the importance of green production, “As you know, within the scope of the European Green Consensus, there are targets to reduce the carbon footprint to 50% in 2030 and to zero in 2050. It is important for our iron and steel industry, which is among the sectors that emit the most carbon, to raise awareness and take initiatives about reducing carbon footprint with green production without losing time in order not to lose its competitive advantage in this direction. We will form a working group to reduce the carbon footprint of the sector in order to reach $1.4 billion, which is the export target of our union in 2021, and we will take initiatives on the transformation of green energy, the use of hydrogen instead of coal, and the circular economy. In addition, we will continue our joint work with Germany on industry 4.0 for 3 years.”

Source: Sabah / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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