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Steel producers see sluggish sales due to economic woes

Update: August, 05/2014 - 09:29
The raw steel output in July reached 311,300 tonnes, representing 21 per cent year-on-year increase.— Photo ximang.vn

HA NOI (VNS)  — The domestic steel market has continued to be quiet as consumption is at a low level, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The ministry told a press meeting in Ha Noi yesterday that low steel consumption was due to the economic slowdown.

The ministry also said that raw steel output in July reached 311,300 tonnes, representing 21 per cent year-on-year increase. Rolled steel was 295,500 tonnes, rising 18 per cent over the same period last year. Steel bar output rose 1.5 per cent in comparison with the corresponding period last year to 285,200 tonnes.

In the first seven months of the year, raw steel output reached 708,900 tonnes, posting a 0.8 per cent year-on-year increase while that of rolled steel was 2.01 million tonnes, increasing 24 per cent compared with last year.

Steel imports in the period rose 5.8 per cent in terms of quantity and reduced 1.2 per cent in terms of value.

In addition, shops had not imported a large quantity of steel last month because of the rains which were not suitable for construction, it said.

In July, steel prices in the north showed a downward trend of VND100,000 to 200,000 per tonne over the previous month. Several steel producers in the region reduced prices through increased discounts and waiver of transport costs.

Selling prices in the south were stable with some producers increasing the price from VND100,000 to 200,000 per tonne due to the increasing input.

Garment sector gains

The ministry also said in the first seven months of the year, the country enjoyed a trade surplus of US$1.26 billion.

It said the garment and textile sector saw a breakthrough as it surpassed telephone exports to become the industry with the highest export turnover in the period.

Garment and textile turnover in July reached $2.1 billion, increasing 11 per cent over the previous month and representing a 17 per cent year-on-year rise. In the January to July period, the product export turnover was $11.48 billion, increasing 19 per cent against the corresponding period last year.

Electricity bills fall

Answering the question on the reduction of power bills last month after a surge in June, Pham Quang Huy, deputy head of the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Viet Nam (ERAV) said power consumption mostly depended on the weather.

Huy said the ministry has asked the Electricity of Viet Nam (EVN) and power companies to publish the power calculation method.

Last month, there were 183,000 households with power bills reduced 1.5 times over the previous month, 75,000 households reduced twice and 110,000 ones increased 1.5 times.

In June, 79,000 households had bills reduced 1.5 times against May and 42,000 reduced twice.

"It means that each month there is the usual increase and decrease in power bills," he said.

He added that the weather in July was cooler than in June, resulting in a reduction in power consumption. EVN Ha Noi also checked bills which claimed an increase.

Talking about the possibility of a rise in electricity tariffs, Deputy Minister Do Thang Hai said the ministry had not received any proposal from EVN, adding that there would be no increase in the near future. — VNS

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