Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s steel market is forecast to be in good shape during this year’s first quarter despite high prices, said the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).

VSA Vice Chairman Nguyen Van Sua said the price of steel rose from 70 USD to 92 USD per tonne throughout January and February, but have now fallen to 86-87 USD per tonne.

The sector imported 90-95 percent of materials for manufacturing, including iron ore, iron scraps, and coke fuel, he said, adding that globally high prices affected domestic costs.

Over 1.95 million tonnes of steel were sold in the January-February period, up 18.9 percent year-on-year. Of which, more than 456 tonnes were for export, up 28.8 percent from January 2018.

In preparation for the peak construction season in April-May, firms bought steel in huge volumes for stockpile. The government has also paid attention to public investment and promoting the construction market while economic prospects are bright this year.

Sua said the sector is expected to grow by a record 10 percent in 2019.

Domestic firms suggested that the government take measures to control massive imports of low-cost steel from China, which caused losses to domestic manufacturers. –VNA