Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam risks being flooded by imported steel products, warned Nguyen Van Sua, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) at a meeting in Hanoi on January 13 to review the association’s performance in 2015.

Sua cited the increasing volume of rolled steel, steel bars and galvanised steel products imported from foreign countries to clarify his views.

Statistics released by the VSA showed that about 13.7 million tonnes of steel products were imported in 2015, up 22.56 percent year-on-year, and more than 1.78 million tonnes of steel billets, up 198 percent from the previous year’s figure.

Over 1.62 million tonnes of rolled steel and steel wire were imported last year while the country was able to produce only 1.13 million tonnes of rolled steel.

According to the VSA Vice Chairman, steel from China amounted to more than 8.4 million tonnes, worth over 3.7 billion USD, accounting for 60 percent of Vietnam’s imported steel.

The figures represent year-on-year increases of 57 percent in volume, and 13.6 percent in value, he said.

Japan, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan (China) are the other major steel exporters to Vietnam, making up 35 percent of the country’s total imported steel.

Meanwhile, Vietnam exported approx. 2.8 million tonnes of steel of different types, a slight rise just short of 3 percent, to traditional ASEAN markets, Sua said.

According to him, strong rises in imports are hindering the growth of domestic producers.

He added, however, that Vietnam’s steel industry is still expected to experience a 15 percent growth rate this year, thanks to the country’s engagement in many free trade agreements.

The official noted that his association will propose to the State measures to provide local businesses with integration information, implement trade defence measures, and manage the quality of imported steel products - especially those from China.

Nguyen Phuong Nam, deputy head of the Competition Management Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said without appropriate defence measures, more imports, especially from China, will pose difficulties to domestic steel businesses.

Against this backdrop, he called on domestic businesses to cooperate with each other and prepare thoroughly for trade protection measures.-VNA