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Vietnam to import 5m tonnes of steel this year

Vietnam to import 5m tonnes of steel this year

Hanoi: According to Vietnam Steel Association, a decline in local demand caused the steel industry to face a minus growth in 2008 as it consumed and exported about 4.45 million tonnes, a drop of 300,000 tonnes as compared to 2007.

VSA said that the drop was due to a decline in local demand, mainly from construction firms hit seriously by the global economic downturn. It added that the demand would be affected by a hike in value added tax which took effect on January 1st 2009.

VSA said that Vietnam will import about 5 million tonnes of steel to meet domestic demand which is estimated at 10.5 million tonnes in 2009, serving the construction, auto and other industries.

The ministry of industry & trade said that the demand for construction in the country and for export would be 4.95 million tonnes but the industry had to import 800,000 tonnes to meet it as local steel mills would only supply about 4.15 million tonnes. The ministry has asked local producers and investors to boost steel production and expedite iron ore mining projects that are set to commence operations this year in order to address the imbalance in the local steel market.

Meanwhile, according to the General Statistics Office, Vietnam imported 7.92 million tonnes of steel worth US$6.57 billion in 2008, including steel for construction and auto industries. The steel imports dropped nearly 2% in volume but increased by 28.56% YoY in value.  [6/1/09]