Turkish steel consumption surges in May

Turkish consumption of steel surged 20.9 percent in May from the same month the previous year to 3.5 million tons, according to data from the Turkey Steel Producers’ Association (TCUD).

The consumption beat the average for the first five months. Consumption climbed 15.2 percent to 13.3 million tons in the January-May period.

Imports of steel on a volume basis jumped 51 percent to 1.8 million tons during May.

Economists are looking to data such as steel production and imports in order to gauge whether economic growth is slowing. The central bank has increased interest rates by a total of 500 basis points this year to 17.75 percent to arrest a slide in the lira’s value against the dollar and to tame inflation. Inflation climbed to 15.4 percent in June from 12.2 percent in May.

Production of raw steel rose 0.5 percent to 3.3 million tons, a slower increase than the 4.3 percent observed for the first five months. Production was affected by exports, which fell 1 percent to 1.6 millin tons.

Turkey is due to publish industrial production data for May on July 16.