Chamber of Metallurgical Industries renewed calls on Trade and Industry Ministry to take measures to cap importing of Turkish steel, which affects the national industry, while importers said importing does not exceed 5 percent of the total consumption.
Rafiq Daw, vice chief of the chamber, said government should intervene to balance in competition with Turkish steel, referring to difference of US$120 between costs of production in local and Turkish factories, in favor of the domestic market.
He added that the difference in production costs is a fact due to a change in the equation, referring to drop in price of the Egyptian pound and the Turkish Lira. He added that the Lira decline pours into interest of the their steel production as it does not depend on imported components except for importing 50 percent of the scrap, which means costs of producing Turkish steel decrease by US$70, compared to the Egyptian steel production which declines by US$50, in addition to importing most of the components at the black market prices. He also called on the government to consider interests of economy.
Mohamed Hanafy, general director of the chamber, said they filed complaint to the ministry and attached to it documents that prove excessive increase in importing over the past two months. He added they demanded limiting the importing through imposing fees.
Total amount of imported Turkish steel, between January and October 2013, reached 60,000 tons. It jumped to 120,000 tons from November to 17 December.
Tareq Abdel Azeem, a steel importer, said cost of the Turkish steel is five doubles of the Egyptian. Moreover, workers’ wages are four doubles of Egyptians.
Insurance companies reject imposing insurance on Egyptian exported items after its credit rating had declined, Abdel Azeem said adding that the total value of the exported steel should be paid to Egypt ahead of exporting.
Abdel Azeem denied news on magnitude of imported steel saying that total amount of imported steel over the past three months reached 82,000 tons, while total amount of domestic consumption during the same time reached around 1.8 million tons, which means the imported steel represent 5 percent of the total consumption.
Turkish companies, according to Abdel Azeem, have been using modern technologies that limits consumption of energy. Manufacturing of one ton of steel in Egypt requires 680 kilowatts of energy, compared to 320 kilowatts in Turkey.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm