The iron and steel industry is of great importance to the Turkish economy: the country is in fact the 10th crude steel producer in the world and the second in Europe, after Germany. According to the data issued by the Turkish Ministry of Industry and Commerce and by the WSO (World Steel Association), the growing domestic demand has led to a 100% increase in the crude steel consumption per capita between 2005 and 2008, and, after the crisis of 2009, when the crude steel production was seen at 25.3 million tons, the national production stared to grow again from 2010, registering an increase of about 10%. The positive trend has continued in the first months of 2011, supported mainly by the ongoing investments in the sector and the ongoing modernization process.
Nonetheless, the domestic sector presents a number of structural limitations, among which the the main one is dependency on foreign markets. The overproduction of long products in steel (utilized mainly in the building sector), which represent 82% of the overall national production and the shortage of flat products (used primarily in the automotive and white goods sectors) deform the market, making the procurement of the latter from abroad inevitable. The figures are clear: flat steel products represent 53.4% of the overall imports, semi-manufactured 34.7% and long products 7.4%.
Looking at the imports (that increased by 21.9% in the first half of 2010, compared to 2009), leaders in the segment are the countries that were previously a part of the CIS with a share of about 50.9%, followed by the European Union with 37.7% and North-African countries with 1.6%. The Turkish iron and steel industry’s potential is further enhanced by the solid growth being witnessed by the country’s economy and its favourable geostrategic position in the international arena.