Construction steel posts record output

Update: November, 19/2015 - 09:02
About 1.2 million tonnes of steel were sold in October, a 17 per cent increase over the same period last year and a 13 per cent rise from September. — Photo

HA NOI  (VNS) — The construction steel sector produced a record-high output of 618,000 tonnes in October, about a 30 per cent year-on-year increase, the Viet Nam Steel Association (VSA) said.

The association said steel consumption saw positive changes. Both steel output and sales have been on the rise as several construction projects were implemented together with favourable weather conditions.

Statistics from VSA showed that the steel production of all kinds of its members last month rose 22 per cent year on year to more than 1.3 million tonnes, which was also seven per cent higher than the previous month.

About 1.2 million tonnes of steel were sold in October, a 17 per cent increase over the same period last year and a 13 per cent rise from September.

The total consumption of construction steel reached 627,000 tonnes, representing a 26 per cent year-on-year rise.

The consumption of corrugated iron in October was also relatively high at 212,000 tonnes, increasing 22 per cent from September and 35 per cent from the corresponding period last year.

Exports of plate corrugated iron in October touched 86,400 tonnes or 16 per cent higher than the previous month, posting a 14 per cent year-on-year increase. The Hoa Sen Group took the lead in plate corrugated iron exports with 38 per cent, followed by Nam Kim Steel Joint Stock Company at 13 per cent and Dong A Corporation at 12 per cent.

VSA's Vice-Chairman Nguyen Van Sua said local steel companies had been active in improving their competitiveness, taking advantage of the recovery of the real estate market. However, this has been temporary growth.

Sua said steel producers still faced competition from cheap steel from China, to which chrome was added to make an alloy to enjoy a zero tax rate, instead of the tax rate of nine per cent imposed on steel ingots for construction. The alloy was sold at US$255 to $258 per tonne, a 45 to 50 per cent reduction in comparison with the beginning of 2014.

In addition, the country's steel exports faced difficulties as Vietnamese steel coped with anti-dumping investigations and lawsuits in large markets. Domestic steel exporters were expected to face more pressure from imported steel from ASEAN countries and Russia when free trade agreements (FTAs) take effect, he said.

Sua said the government should take stronger measures to prevent a flood of cheap imported steel and trade fraud. Technical and commercial barriers to steel imports should also be implemented to reduce the difficulties being faced by steel producers.

However, steel businesses should further improve their products' quality, reduce costs to better compete with imported steel, and gain knowledge about trade defence measures. — VNS