|The steel industry has been badly affected by the COVID-19 epidemic (Photo:VIR)
This decline can largely be attributed to the fact that various manufacturing industries which rely on steel products, such as construction, automobiles, motorcycles, and electronics, have yet to fully recover from the initial effects of the epidemic.
Indeed, the production and consumption index of steel products remains extremely low, while a sharp decline in steel exports has caused the industry to encounter numerous difficulties.
Most notably, the production of finished steel products of all types throughout the four-month period reached approximately 7.5 million tonnes, while steel consumption reached 6.75 million tonnes, an annual decrease of 8.4% and 13.3%, respectively.
As a result, steel exports plummeted by 25% to 1.28 million tonnes in comparison to the same period from last year. Steel exports in April alone fell by 37.99% to roughly 262,000 tonnes from the previous month.
The VSA therefore predicts that steel exports will enjoy a number of positive signs ahead in the second quarter when the epidemic is finally brought under control within the domestic market.
In addition, various incentive policies by the government and numerous public investment packages will also be implemented as a means of helping the market rebound.
Experts say the recovery of export markets is predicted to be largely dependent on the ability of Southeast Asian countries to contain the epidemic, with the regional market making up 60% of all steel exports, along with 57.8% of the entire industry’s total export turnover.