Turkey was importing 70% of its cast iron from the conflicting countries, however, supply chains have been disrupted due to the war that began following Russia’s invasion of its neighbor.
Apart from the supply crisis, Azovstal, Europe's largest iron and steel factory in Ukraine, was also heavily damaged during the Russian bombardment, causing a rise in prices.
To prevent a further cast metal crunch, Turkey’s Industry and Technology Ministry has already taken action to mobilize local manufacturers, a report by Turkish economics daily Dünya said Monday.
The report stated that the ministry met with Isdemir and Kardemir, the two major manufacturers of the sector, and requested that domestic cast iron production be increased.
In his comments to Dünya, Turkish Casting Manufacturers Association (TÜDÖKSAD) head Umur Denizci expressed that “a possible interruption in the supply of cast iron may cause the metal casting facilities to stop and cause a bigger crisis.”
Denizci said that they have contacted the relevant ministry and requested to increase domestic cast iron production.
According to the information obtained from TÜDÖKSAD sources, the Industry and Technology Ministry met with Kardemir and Isdemir in an effort to increase the rate of cast iron supplies being produced domestically.
Per the industry officials, cast iron production can start in two to four weeks if furnaces that are not currently being used by Kardemir and Isdemir are put into operation. Isdemir and Kardemir's monthly production of 60,000 to 100,000 tons of cast iron eliminates the industry's dependence on imports.
Meanwhile, prices have already increased in the sector, with cast iron prices jumping 30% in just two weeks. The price of steel casts rose to $900 per ton, and the price of ductile iron rose from about $900 to $1,150 per ton.
The Turkish metal casting industry began to search for alternative suppliers after the war broke out between Ukraine and Russia – the world's largest iron, steel and aluminum producers. Although there are alternatives such as Brazil, South Africa and India on the supply side, the industry wants to increase domestic production instead of turning to alternative countries due to the high logistics costs and the difficulty of new supply agreement processes.
According to TÜDÖKSAD’s Denizci, until about 20 years ago, Turkey's cast iron needs were met to a significant extent by production by Erdemir, Isdemir and Kardemir.