Exports of steel from Turkey increased during 2018, despite protectionist measures imposed by the US across the course of the year.
This is according to new figures released by the Turkish Steel Exporters Association yesterday (January 8th 2019), which showed exports grew by 20.8 per cent year-on-year to 21.4 million tons.
A total of $15.6 billion (€13.6 billion) was earned from the metal product, which was an increase of 36 per cent on 2017.
The biggest markets were the European Union, Middle East and North America, while the US, Iraq, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates saw the biggest expansion during the period.
According to the association, the most exported products were construction steel, hot slab and welded pipe steel.
The increases might come as a surprise to some, given the fact that the US government imposed tariffs of 25 per cent on steel imports last March, and then doubled these rates for Turkey following a diplomatic spat.
However, head of the Steel Exporters Association Adnan Aslan said Turkey had weathered the storm thanks to new interest from Asian markets.
He added that fresh challenges may be presented going forward, commenting: "The sector will be under strain especially in the first half of this year, as China will head for an aggressive export policy and the protectionism trend will continue in 2019."
In order to counter this, Turkey is likely to turn to south-east Asia, western Africa and Latin America in a bid to find additional markets and businesses willing to purchase, Mr Aslan said.
Turkey is currently the eighth-largest producer and the tenth biggest exporter of steel worldwide out of a total of more than 200 countries.