Steel prices continue to fall unrelentingly

By Tat Dat   October 18, 2022 | 06:21 pm PT
Steel prices continue to fall unrelentingly
A trailer truck carries steel coils in HCMC, March 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Steel prices have fallen to around VND14 million ($570) per ton, the same as in late 2020 when the market was at its most sluggish.

The country’s biggest steelmaker, Hoa Phat Group, cut rolled steel and rebar steel prices in mid-October by VND520,000 per ton to VND14.5 million and VND14.6 million.

Only at the beginning of September it had cut their prices by VND720,000 and VND830,000.

Other companies like Viet Nhat, Viet Y, Kyoei, Viet Duc, and Thai Nguyen have also slashed prices in the last two months, with state-owned Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel JSC cutting them by more than VND1.8 million, sending rebar and rolled steel crashing to VND13.82 million and VND14.48 million.

Data from Steel Online, which retails for major brands such as Hoa Phat, Viet Italy, Kyoie, and Pomina, shows prices are back where they were at the end of 2020.

Bui Duy Anh, its deputy general business manager, said steel prices have moved strongly due to a number of reasons.

Earlier they rose as a result of increases in fuel and coal prices, high demand, disruptions in international raw material supply and supply chains, and China’s production restrictions due to environmental problems, he said.

But they are dropping now because the global economy is in recession and the monetary and geopolitical situation is volatile, he said.

"But the main reason for the price fall is the weak domestic demand, which is expected to become even weaker. Exports too have slowed down."

Anh said with the property market still facing difficulties as currently, the steel industry will be affected.

Analyzing the steel industry’s prospects in the second half of the year, Vietcombank Securities said Chinese steel prices would remain low because demand has not recovered.

Meanwhile, producers are sitting on large volumes of inventories and the sharp drop in raw material and fuel prices in the second half of the year would continue to support the reduction of steel prices, it said.

Domestic demand dropped sharply in the second quarter, causing manufacturers to slash prices in an effort to liquidate inventories, it added.

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