Global steel prices surge - Vietnam follows suit

By Bui Hong Nhung   May 13, 2016 | 07:49 pm PT
Global steel prices surge - Vietnam follows suit
A labourer marks steel bars at a steel and iron factory in Huai'an, Jiangsu province, February 18, 2008. Photo by REUTERS/Patty Chen
The price for steel billet has increased by nearly 35 percent from the start of 2016, according to the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).

Nguyen Van Sua, vice chairman of the VSA said that global steel prices are surging, forcing steel prices on the domestic market to follow suit.

The association said that iron ore, the main material for producing steel, is being traded globally at $57 per ton, up 42.5 percent from the beginning of this year. Steel craps have also hiked up by 68.4 percent to touch $320 per ton for the first weeks of May.

As for the Southeast Asian market, a similar trend has been seen with steel billet prices going up by 160$ per ton to be sold at around $420 per ton and steel bars went up 28 percent to $430 per ton.

The vice chairman said that an upsurge in steel prices, especially for the Asian market comes from recent influences of China after its domestic steel demand rallied and the Chinese government decided to cut off steel output to alleviate their serious problem of air pollution. 

In Vietnam, global price hikes coupled with a decision by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to impose temporary tariff increases on steel imports from March 22 to October 7 has accelerated domestic steel prices, Sua added.

Steel billet was sold at VND9.3 million ($418) per ton in April rather than VND6.9 million ($310) in January while the price of steel bars increased slightly to reach VND10.3 million ($463) per ton.

Sua predicted the average price of domestic steel to surpass VND11 million ($495) per ton in the upcoming months.

VSA data show that Vietnamese enterprises sold 1.31 million tons of steel in April, up 26.7 percent from the same period of last year. Steel output recorded an on-year growth of 30 percent to reach 1.48 million tons, of which 192,000 tons were exported to foreign markets, up 50 percent year-on-year.

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