Steel imports rise in first quarter

(VOV) -Vietnam imported 2.2 million tonnes of steel valued at US$1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2014, up 1.5% in volume and down 3.7% in value compared to a year earlier.

According to Vietnam Customs statistics, Vietnam spent US$568.3 million on the purchase of 827,000 tonnes of steel from overseas markets in March, principally from China, Japan, Taiwan, and the Republic of Korea.

The Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) reported that its members consumed 570,000 tonnes in March, rising by 60% from the previous month, up nearly 26.5% against last year’s corresponding period.

In the reviewed period, steel consumption volume in the local market hit approximately 1.2 million tonnes, or 5.7% higher than the same period last year. As a result, the inventory level of the domestic steel industry reduced to less than 260,000 tonnes.

Recently, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has coordinated with the Ministry of Science and Technology to apply national technical standards, aimed at supporting local producers, increasing inspection on imports, and preventing trade fraud.

The Finance Ministry also asked customs offices to keep a tight grip on the import of steel products.