08:57 | 06/08/2018 Trade
(VEN) - Vietnam has exported more than 15 million tonnes of cement in the first six months of 2018, a sharp increase of 50 percent over the corresponding period last year.
According to the Building Materials Department under the Ministry of Construction, Vietnam consumed a total of 8.71 million tonnes of cement in June this year, up 30 percent over the same period in 2017.
Of that figure, approximately 6.91 million tonnes of cement were sold domestically, up 29 percent over the same period in 2017 and 1.8 million tonnes of cement were shipped abroad, an increase of 35 percent over the same period in 2018. In the January-June period, Vietnam was estimated to consume 51.42 million tonnes of cement, up 25 percent over the same period last year, equivalent to 61 percent of the yearly target.
Notably, cement exports continued to advance with 15.42 million tonnes shipped abroad in the six-month period, meeting 85.6 percent of the year's plan and up 30 percent over the same period in 2017.
Vietnam's inventory of cement was estimated at 3.1 million tonnes in the first six months of this year, equivalent to 14-15 days of cement production.
Experts attributed the increase to favorable weather for construction while expanded cement exports were mainly due to the halt of cement production in a number of cities in China because of environmental pollution and a shortage of electricity in winter.
Currently, Vietnam has 107 cement plants, with total capacity of 120.9 million tonnes per year, owned by 93 companies. According to forecasts, with the current growth rate, the cement sector will have a surplus of 36-47 million tonnes by 2020. With a capacity of domestic consumption by 2020 of 93 million tonnes, the surplus will amount to about 25-36 million tonnes.
Therefore, the Vietnam Cement Association has asked the government to slow down investment in new cement projects from now to 2025. In addition, promoting investment in improved productivity and product quality, and applying new technologies to save materials are underlined.
Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has also directed the Ministry of Construction in coordination with the Ministry of Finance to study the recommendations submitted by the Vietnam Cement Association.
In addition, Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has assigned the Ministry of Construction to coordinate with concerned ministries and departments to evaluate the current situation of the cement sector and formulate a development strategy by 2030, with a vision to 2050.
In order to stabilize the cement market, the Ministry of Construction has coordinated with the Vietnam Cement
Association to direct cement production units nationwide to complete business networks and reduce the cost of