However, steel scrap imports surged higher by 22.4% for 2016 totalling 3.90 million tons, up significantly year-on-year from the 3.19 million tons imported in 2015, even surpassing the previous annual record highs of 3.38 million tons recorded in 2014.
Monthly imports of steel scrap averaged right at 325,000 tons during 2016.
The value of imports for the year jumped nearly 8% from US$808.23 million in 2015 to US$872.08 million in 2016 with the average import price for the year up marginally by .80% at US$223.60 per ton.
Imports- Nov ’16
The trade data published by the Vietnam Ministry of Finance indicates the country’s steel scrap imports spiked higher significantly during the month of November last year.
The country’s ferrous scrap imports totalled 411,424 tons in November 2016, surging higher by 9.6% from the previous month. The country’s scrap imports had totalled 375,387 tons in October last year.
The value of steel imports for the month increased 8.5% to US$96.45 million. The cost of imports averaged at US$234.40 per ton during the month having declined marginally by 1% against the previous month.
The cumulative scrap imports by the country totalled 3.53 million tons during the initial eleven months of 2016. The imports were up sharply by 20.8% when matched with the imports during the corresponding period in 2015. Vietnam had imported only 2.92 million tons of scrap during Jan-Nov 2015.
Outlook for 2017
A projected surge in steel output by the country’s steelmakers may lead to increased intake of scrap, which in turn may further boost the level of scrap imports during 2017.
According to the Vietnam Ministry of Industry and Trade, the country’s crude steel and rolled steel output is expected to increase to 5.5 million tons and 5.8 million tons respectively.
This implies a 16.6% year-on-year rise in crude steel production and 18% jump in rolled steel production. The combined output is expected to fully meet the domestic demand for 2017.
Contrarily, the Vietnam Steel Association expects the steel output in 2017 to grow at a much slower pace than 2016. The growth rate is expected to drop from 16.8% in 2016 to 12% in 2017, it said.
The total steel output is expected to grow from 17.5 million tons in 2015 to 19.6 million tons this year.
The country’s largest import market for scrap steel is China, which accounts for a 59% market share followed by Japan and the Republic of Korea with significantly lesser market shares.
The country’s steelmakers recycle the scrap steel to produce products such as cold rolled and coated steel products used in a variety of construction and other industries around the globe.