Vietnam opens anti-dumping probe on Chinese steel

By Hung Le   September 10, 2019 | 05:05 pm PT
Vietnam opens anti-dumping probe on Chinese steel
A worker inspects steel wires at a plant in Dalian, China. Photo by Reuters.
Vietnam has initiated anti-dumping investigations on certain carbon steel imports from China following a request by local producers.

Local manufacturers Posco Vietnam, China Steel Sumikin and Phu My Flat Steel, all based in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, have alleged that certain cold-rolled carbon steel coils and sheets imported from China were being dumped in the Vietnamese market.

These imports have been "causing considerable damage to the domestic cold rolled steel production industry," the firms stated in a petition sent to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).

Specifically, imported steel products from China are being sold at prices 4-14 percent lower than that of cold-rolled steel in the country, and 9-19 percent lower than price imports from Japan, Taiwan and South Korea, they said.

"This will make it impossible for the domestic industry to survive. The industry will face catastrophic financial difficulties in the near future." 

The MoIT has said that it will hold public consultations with relevant parties before reaching a conclusion. If necessary, the ministry will apply temporary anti-dumping measures to prevent significant damage to the industry, applicable retrospectively for up to 90 days prior to the date of the investigation.

Last month, the ministry had made public a proposal that import taxes are raised on certain hot rolled steel coil (HRC) products from China to 5 percent from the current zero percent, citing fears that cheap Chinese steel could flood Vietnam’s market amid the escalating U.S.-China trade war.

"The trade war is causing a sharp drop in steel prices in the market. If there is no import tax on this product group, cheap rolled steel will from China continue to flood Vietnam, destabilizing the local steel market," it said in a ciruclar.

Vietnam imported 13.5 million tons of steel of various types worth $9.9 million last year, down 9.8 percent in volume but up 9 percent in value against 2017, Vietnam Customs reported. China continued to be the biggest exporter to the Vietnamese market, making up 45 percent of the total volume.

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