Vietnam ups steel capabilities, reduces imports

By Dat Nguyen   June 14, 2018 | 01:03 am PT
Vietnam ups steel capabilities, reduces imports
Steel imports from China is expected to decrease in the future. Photo by Reuters
Imports from China have fallen as local firms are able to produce more advanced products, senior industry official says.

Application of advanced technology is helping Vietnam’s steel sector produce more sophisticated products and reduce reliance on imports, an industry insider says.

“Development in technology has allowed Vietnamese businesses to produce more sophisticated products like hot rolled steel, something they couldn’t do before,” Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) vice chairman Nguyen Van Sua told VnExpress International.

Steel imports from China will continue to decrease further in the future, he added.

The VSA has reported that Vietnamese steel businesses enjoyed significant growth in production and shown reduced reliance on Chinese imports in the first five months this year.

Local firms had produced 9.67 million tons of steel by the end of May, an increase of 24 percent from the same period last year, the association said.

About 6.69 million tons of steel were sold in the first five months, a growth of 35.2 percent from the same period last year.

The country also exported 1.91 million tons of steel worth over $1.4 billion, a 61 percent growth in value over the same period last year.

The association also pointed out that in the first four months of the year, Vietnam imported 1.8 million tons of steel from China, a year-on-year reduction of 34 percent in volume and 13.4 percent in value.

Although Chinese steel still accounts for 42.5 percent of steel imported by Vietnam, this figure is down from 60 percent in previous years and shows that the country is reducing its dependence on China, VSA vice chairman Sua said.

Vietnam exported 4.71 million tons of steel in 2017, worth $3.15 billion, a growth of 35.6 percent in volume and 55.1 percent in value compared with 2016.

ASEAN countries are the main importers of Vietnamese steel, accounting for 59.2 percent of total exports worth $1.71 billion, while the U.S. ranks second at 11 percent, a VSA report said earlier this year.

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