Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
Influxes of low-cost and sub-standard iron sheets and steel, particularly those from China, are dominating the market and taking a toll on domestic manufacturing, according to the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).

From January-August, Vietnam imported 13 million tonnes of steel worth nearly 6.4 billion USD, up 37.2 percent in volume and 11 percent in value. Up to 60 percent of which are of Chinese origin and the figure is likely to rise in the future.

Tran Ngoc Chu, General Director of Hoa Sen Group, said Chinese steel flows with ambiguous sources are paving the way for fake products to reach the hands of consumers.

Last year, Vietnam imported up to 936,000 tonnes of various kinds of iron sheets, up 379 percent from 2012.

In the first seven months of this year, the country bought more than 1.06 million tonnes of iron sheets from abroad, soaring 836 percent from the same period in 2012. As many as 93 percent of the imports were made in China, a 1,312 percent increase from 2012.

Chu said China’s iron sheets and steel are continually subject to trade defence lawsuits, including anti-dumping and anti-subsidy legal proceedings lodged by exporters from America, Europe and Southeast Asia.

In Vietnam, there has yet to be any trade defence action taken against Chinese steel imports, he noted.

He called on Vietnam to file trade defence lawsuits against imported iron sheets and steel and launch an anti-dumping probe on similar Chinese products.

According to Chu, Vietnam’s iron sheets and steel for export to Malaysia and Indonesia must meet their SIRIM and SNI quality standards, among others.

To protect consumers and domestic manufacturing, he said Vietnam needs to devise a set of national standards to better manage imported iron sheets and steel.

The VSA together with firms such as Bluescope, China Steel Sumikin, Ton Phuong Nam and Ton Dong A stressed the need to make a list of steps to test the imports, including their origin, trademarks, certification and technical properties.-VNA