|Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
The association said last year saw signs the global steel market was slowing, and it was expected consumption will not improve in the first quarter of this year.
The crude steel is estimated at nearly 18 million tones and hot-rolled steel output is estimated at 17.1 million tonnes.
It is expected that the country would have to import some raw materials such as iron ore (nearly 17 million tonnes), scrap steel (about five million tonnes) and hot-rolled steel coil (five million tonnes) this year.
Globally, capacity growth may exceed demand growth, leading to shrinking exports and profit.
Many proposed integrated steel projects in ASEAN would lead to a serious oversupply and it would take about 20 years for ASEAN steel consumption to catch up with this capacity, said the association.
The domestic steel industry continued to face challenges due to competitive pressure from increasing domestic supply and imported steel, as well as tightened lending credit to the domestic real estate market and delayed construction work.
Crude steel production and sales reached nearly 1.3 million tonnes in December last year, an increase of 3.2 percent compared to November and an increase of 1.1 percent compared to the same period in December 2018.
Crude steel consumption reached over 1.4 million tonnes, up 9.4 percent over the previous month and up 13.4 percent over the same period in 2018.
Production of finished steel products reached nearly 2.3 million tonnes, an increase of 11.9 percent over the same period of 2018.
Sales of finished steel products reached over 2 million tonnes, up 10.8 percent over the same period in 2018.
In particular, steel exports reached nearly 360,000 tonnes, down 7 percent over the same period in 2018.
A report from VSA said the price of steel production materials such as iron ore increased by 3 USD to 5 USD per tonne by the end of December last year; scrap steel price increased by 15-20 USD per tonne compared to the beginning of November.
Domestic steel selling price is currently at an average of 11,500 - 11,800 VND (0.5 USD) per kilogramme depending on the type of product and businesses.