Việt Nam expects to be a net steel exporter with strong steel export growth

Update: September, 24/2021 - 07:39


Rolled steel manufactured by JFE Shoji Steel Hai Phong Co Ltd at VSIP Industrial Park in Hải Phòng City. VNA/VNS Photo Danh Lam

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam is expected to become an exporting country of iron and steel by end-2021 after decades of dependence on imported iron and steel from China.

Local exports of iron and steel reached 1.53 million tonnes with a value of nearly US$1.5 billion in August, marking the month with the highest export value of those products.

According to the General Department of Customs, it was the second consecutive month that the products exceeded the export value of $1 billion.

The department calculated the exports in August increased 33.8 per cent in volume and 35.2 per cent in value from July, adding that compared to August 2020, the export value was 2.5 times higher. 

By the end of August, Việt Nam exported 8.54 million tonnes of iron and steel of all kinds with a value of nearly $7.1 billion, increasing by 43.4 per cent in volume and 127 per cent  in value over the same period last year.

The products were exported to ASEAN with 2.7 million tonnes, approximately the export level of the same period last year and China with 1.8 million tonnes, down 13.2 per cent. Meanwhile, exports to the EU and US markets increased significantly. Specifically, exports to the EU reached 1.43 million tonnes, up 7.5 times; and those to the US reached 540,000 tonnes, up four times over the same period last year.

At the same time, Việt Nam imported $7.73 billion of iron and steel, up 42.6 per cent in value over the same period in 2020. Though an iron and steel trade deficit in the first eight months of 2021 was recorded, according to data from the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA), it was only US$670 million, lower than the trade deficit of $2.3 billion in the same period in 2020. 

The association said the strongest growth item in exports was hot rolled steel (HRC), seeing an increase of 145 per cent over the same period in 2020, thanks to Formosa's boost in exports, followed by galvanised sheet with a growth of 115 per cent. While the top five galvanised steel enterprises exported from 50 to 67 per cent of production output, cold rolled steel exports increased by 45 per cent and construction steel exports increased by 27 per cent, only steel pipes decreased, by almost 10 per cent.

Data from the association shows that 54 per cent of galvanised steel production in Việt Nam was exported. This rate is nearly 20 per cent in HRC, and construction steel is more than 16 per cent.

The association said the exports were getting better as consumption demand in markets has increased for many months, in which exports to the EU increased 7.5 times over the same period thanks to the impact of the Việt Nam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) over the past year. 

The association said many businesses have taken advantage of opportunities from this agreement, boosting exports thanks to trade facilitation.

Considering the EU as a market with high and strict requirements, the VSA said the increase in iron and steel exports to the market shows that Vietnamese enterprises have standardised production, satisfying high requirements from the importing country. — VNS