Steel output in the month totalled over 1.37 million and 823,000 tonnes of steel products were sold, dropping 12.7% and 45.2% compared to the previous month.
According to Nguyen Van Sua, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA), the reduction is attributable to low demand on the occasion of the seven-day lunar New Year holiday (Tet) and a fairly large amount of stored goods by steel traders before Tet.
He predicted that steel consumption would be higher in February.
Since 2016, a continuous increase has been seen in the import volume of steel products, despite the fact that the domestic industry is capable of meeting local demands.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade said locally made products are facing a fierce price competition from their Chinese rivals.
The ministry affirmed its commitment to implementing and monitoring temporary trade protection measures to ensure healthy competition.
With 10.8 million tonnes of steel products worth US$4.45 billion shipped to Vietnam last year, China remained the biggest steel exporter of the country, followed by Japan and the Republic of Korea.