Consumption of steel products, especially colour-coated steel, declined in October while production continued to rise, according to the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).
The VSA said construction steel production of its members reached 914,520 tonnes in October, up 10.05 percent compared to September and similar to to the same period in 2018. However, consumption reached 867,356 tonnes, up 9.42 percent compared to September but down 3.2 percent compared to the same period last year.
The association also calculated that production of hot rolled steel products reached 353,420 tonnes, up 17.28 percent compared to September and up 3.4 percent over the same period in 2018, but consumption was only 291,850 tonnes, down 7.83 percent and 1.5 percent compared to September and the same period last year, respectively.
Similarly, cold rolled steel production reached 331,365 tonnes, up 1.96 percent compared to September and equal to last year. Consumption reached 184,920 tonnes, a decrease of 6.72 percent compared to September but an increase of 4.3 percent compared to the same period last year.
Colour-coated steel production saw the sharpest decline in October, reaching 348,902 tonnes, an increase of 4.51 percent compared to September, but down 15.3 percent compared to the same period last year. Consumption reached 325,998 tonnes, an increase of 4.32 percent compared to September but down 5.3 percent year-on-year.
Exports declined 18.8 percent compared to the same period in 2018 to 130,158 tonnes. In recent years exports of corrugated iron products had been on the rise. The decrease in consumption and increased production had caused problems for many enterprises, forcing them to lay off employees.
Ninh Thi Bich Thuy, general director of TVP Steel Joint Stock Company, said the consumption of corrugated iron faced difficulties due to local competitive pressure between local and imported products as well as from the US-China trade tension which affected exports with stricter trade barriers.
Tightened lending from banks for the realty market had also slowed down the construction industry, she added.
As of September 30, Vietnam had exported more than 5.95 million tonnes of finished and semi-finished products, up 3.9 percent in volume over the same period in 2018 but down 8 percent in value, reaching over 3.9 billion USD.
According to the VSA, while exports fell sharply, imports had continued to increase year by year. As of September 30, imports of finished and semi-finished steel products reached more than 12 million tonnes, and total import turnover reached more than 8.2 billion USD. Most imported products came from China, Japan, Republic of Korea (RoK), China’s Taiwan and India.
To help local steel producers, on October 29, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) decided to apply anti-dumping duties on some colour-coated steel products originating from the RoK and China. It also extended anti-dumping duties on cold-rolled stainless steel products originating from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan for an additional five years, starting from October 26.