Turkey’s steel exports narrowed 17.8% on an annual basis in January-May amid the coronavirus pandemic, a trade association announced on Thursday. 

The recovery begin in Turkish steel exports in June as global trade reopened gradually after a lockdown period due to the pandemic, according to a statement from the Turkish Steel Exporters’ Association. 

Closing last year with 21.2 million tons of exports, Turkish steel sector set new target markets to maintain its active role in the global market, the statement highlighted.

“We will focus on Southeast Asia, West Africa and Latin America — where demand of steel is rising — as our new target markets,” Adnan Aslan, the head of the association, said.

The country’s steel exports to EU decreased to 2.3 million tons in the first five months of this year, down from 3.5 million tons during the same period last year, Aslan noted. 

“This loss of 1.2 million tons stemmed from unjust protective measures of the bloc,” he said.

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