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Steel market remains stagnant

Update: October, 24/2013 - 09:04
Steel is loaded onto trucks to be transported to wholesalers at the Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Company. Steel sales have yet to recover on the local market. — VNA/VNS Photo Trong Dat
HA NOI (VNS)— Steel sale is yet to recover on the local market, despite domestic steel producers' efforts to boost consumption coinciding with the start of the building season, according to the Viet Nam Steel Association (VSA).

The association said building steel sales in September declined 3.87 per cent against August and 2.29 per cent year-on-year to 353,792 tonnes.

Production in September also fell 9.46 per cent from August and 7.43 per cent against September 2012 to 347,780 tonnes.

However, in the first nine months of this year, the steel production reached 3.36 million tonnes, a marginal increase of 0.02 per cent against the same period last year, while consumption rose 2.46 per cent to 3.38 million tonnes.

The steel inventory reached 317,504 tonnes in the first nine months of this year, VSA figures showed, adding the inventory remained at a normal rate.

Producers had a steel ingot inventory of 520,000 tonnes, which was expected to meet production demand in the coming months.

Meanwhile, the selling price of building steel in the north was reduced by VND100,000-350,000 to VND12.24-12.95 million per tonne in September, as producers sought to counter low demand, according to the domestic market management team under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

But the domestic market still sits precariously at the building season start, because increased electric prices have pushed up steel production costs, making it even more difficult for suppliers to remain competitive.

The association said the building season got off to a slow start in September, as many storms and floods hampered projects.

The team expected steel prices to remain stable, while production and consumption would also see little change in months to come.

The association also reported that Viet Nam's steel imports in the first eight months of 2013 had surged 26.22 per cent in volume and 11.1 per cent in value to US$4.4 billion.

More encouragingly, Viet Nam's steel export volume jumped 23.81 over the same period to 1.4 million tonnes, with value rising 15.26 per cent to $1.2 billion.

The surge in exports had helped reduce consumption pressure on local steel producers, the association said. — VNS


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