Arab union considers protecting steel industry

Updated 05 December 2014

Arab union considers protecting steel industry

The Arab Iron and Steel Union board of directors met in Dubai recently, in the presence of its members representing the iron and steel industry in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Jordan, Algeria and Bahrain.
The participants discussed several subjects on top of which is the unjustified sudden increase in imports to the Arab region, whether from reinforced steel or flat steel products, in very low prices, causing severe damages to the national industry in the concerned Arab countries.
They warned of the destructive effect, particularly of the Chinese imports entering the region in prices much less than the international and local prices, thus threatening the Arab companies whose local markets are exposed to severe dumping, affecting its production volume and profits as well, which in turn damages the large investments in current and future steel industry projects.
The huge production surplus in China instigated several countries, including Canada and America, to impose dumping fees of around 110 percent. While Turkey increased its customs fees on reinforced steel from 15-30 percent to 30-40 percent, some European countries also imposed 13-45 percent customs protection fees on the Chinese flats steel products.
Since the Chinese production of reinforced steel and flat steel sweeps global markets, the Arab Iron and Steel Union warned the Arab governments that the lack of influential customs protection in most of the region’s countries will lead to escalation of the problem.
The union also called on the governments to review the customs fees on imports, and raise it to the level that could stave off the threat of cheap imports, and to put into effect the measures that would ensure compliance of imported iron with the standard specifications that guarantee quality product along the lines of the local product.


Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

Updated 13 August 2020

Turkey on brink of recession as economy collapses

  • Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months

JEDDAH: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s popularity is plunging in lockstep with Turkey’s collapsing economy and the country is on the verge of a potentially devastating recession, financial experts have told Arab News.
The value of the Turkish lira has fallen to 7.30 against the US dollar and the central bank has spent $65 billion to prop up the currency, according to the US investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Consumer debt has increased by 25 percent to more than $100 billion in the past three months as the government moved to help families during the coronavirus pandemic, but the result has been a surge in inflation to 12 percent.
With the falling lira and increased price of imported goods, the living standards of many Turks who earn in lira but have dollar debts have fallen sharply.
The economy is expected to shrink by about 4 percent this year. The official unemployment rate remains at 12.8 percent because layoffs are banned, although many experts say the real figures are far higher.
To complete the perfect storm, tourism revenues and exports have been decimated by the pandemic, and foreign capital has fled amid fears over economic trends and the independence of the central bank.
Wolfango Piccoli, of Teneo Intelligence in London, said logic dictated an increase in interest rates but “this is unlikely to happen.”
Piccoli said central bank officials would strive to avoid an outright rate hike at their monetary policy meeting on Aug. 20. “A mix of controlled devaluation and backdoor policies, such as limiting Turkish lira’s liquidity, remains their preferred approach,” he said.
There is speculation of snap elections, and Erdogan’s view is that higher interest rates cause inflation, despite considerable economic evidence to the contrary.