The construction material sector has seen a rebound in cement and ceramic tile production, while steel and brick production remained stagnant.

Vice chairman of the Vietnam Cement Association Hong Trong Kim said that the cement industry will meet the target of selling 56 million tonnes of cement this year.

With trade promotion methods succeeding in expanding the market, despite a price hike of 80,000-120,000 VND (3.63-5.45 USD) per tonne in the third quarter, the country's largest cement producer Vicem has expanded its share in the domestic market from 34 percent in 2012 to 37 percent this year. It has also enhanced exports to the Middle East and Africa .

Another large cement producer Fico also reported that it met this year's target by early December, with a total sales of 1.7 million tonnes of cement, earning it a turnover of 2.2 trillion VND (100 million USD) and a profit of 50 billion VND (2.27 million USD).

Deputy-general director of ceramic tile producer Viglacera Nguyen Minh Tuan said the company is also expected to earn a turnover of 10.5 trillion VND (477.27 million USD) this year. The company aims to achieve an export turnover of 75 million USD by 2015, a 25 percent increase.

Not as optimistic as cement and tile producers, construction brick producers, especially small-sized ones, estimated that industry consumption will dip in 2013 as compared with last year and that the sector will not meet its annual target of selling 20 billion units of bricks.

The steel sector also faced difficulties this year due to decreasing demand in the wake of economic hardships.

Vice chairman of the Vietnam Steel Association Nguyen Tien Nghi said that the sector sold roughly 4.6 million tonnes of steel this year out of 5 million tones of output. Of the 4.6 million tonnes, 2.5 million tonnes were exported.

Due to the low demand, steel producers had to cut prices by 700 VND per kilo from the third quarter to boost sales.

Nghi forecast that it will be difficult for consumption to rise next year, adding that it will grow only around 2-3 percent. Steel producers also plan to increase their exports to 30 percent.-VNA