16:00 | 02/05/2015 Industry
(VEN) - The real estate market’s strong recovery in the first quarter of this year has resulted in the growth of the steel industry. Sales of steel products in the quarter reached a record level compared with the same period last year.
According to Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) Deputy Chairman Nguyen Van Sua, by the end of the first quarter, steel enterprises under the VSA manufactured 1.27 million tonnes of construction steel, a year on year increase of 17.7 percent. Sales of construction steel during the period hit 1,29 million tonnes, up 10.5 percent compared with the same period last year, with sales in March alone reaching 651,633 tonnes, the highest monthly results so far.
Despite the impressive results in the steel market early this year, the products were mainly sold domestically and export figures remained modest. Total exported steel reached 92,000 tonnes, up 11 percent from the first quarter of last year and accounting for eight percent of total steel sales.
Economists said that in the coming time the domestic steel market will be affected to a certain extent due to the challenges from free trade agreements. Therefore, steel businesses, the VSA and relevant ministries and sectors need to take preparatory measures to cope with the issue, especially tightening the management of the steel quality imported into Vietnam. They also need to take the initiative in taking legitimate trade protection measures to protect domestically-made steel products. In addition, as most domestic steel manufacturers are small in scale with limited experience, technologies and human resources, they need to renovate technologies, and increase their administrative capabilities and competitiveness in the current context of increased integration.
As for imported steel products, at a meeting between the ASEAN Iron and Steel Council and the China Iron and Steel Association on March 31, 2015, ASEAN countries asked China to abrogate tax refunds on all steels containing boron. Previously, the Chinese government officially rejected the tax refund for its exported steels containing boron in the form of steel bars and steel wire cable. Therefore, these two kinds of steel were imported into Vietnam at a higher price.
Steel businesses, the VSA and relevant ministries and sectors need to take preparatory steps, especially tightening management of the quality of steel imported into Vietnam. They also need to take the initiative in taking legitimate trade protection measures to protect domestically-made steel products./.
By Kim Tuyen