Cheap imported steel worries domestic producers

Cheap imported steel, primarily from China, has been putting growing pressure on domestic producers, according to a recent report from the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).

VSA Vice Chairman Nguyen Van Sua said the amount of imported steel in July exceeded 1.72 million tonnes, a 4.8% increase from the previous month and 62.1% rise year-on-year, with a value of US$792 million, up 10.5% from the same period last year. 

In the first seven months of 2015, Vietnam imported 8.43 million tonnes of steel worth US$4.47 billion, up 38.6% in volume and 9.3% in value year-on-year. 

Of the figure, steel from China amounted to more than 5 million tonnes, or nearly 60%, up 76% from a year earlier. 

Meanwhile, Vietnam exported just 1.42 million tonnes worth more than US$1 billion, down 5.2% in volume and 11.4% in value. 

According to Wong Chao-Tung, President and Chief Executive Officer of the China Steel Sumikin Joint Stock Company, the United States’ anti-dumping investigation into China’s steel has led China’s redundant steel to Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam. 

Wong said that his company is collecting necessary information to file complaints to the Vietnam Competition Authority. 

Sua said the VSA has implemented measures to create a technical barrier in order to prevent cheap steel from entering Vietnam. 

He also called for local enterprises to improve the quality of their products and reduce costs to keep prices low. 

According to the VSA, its member enterprises produced 8.9 million tonnes of steel in the first eight months of this year, up 17.9% against the same period last year, and steel consumption reached 7.4 million tonnes, a rise of 17.7%.