Steel production at Thai Nguyen Steel JSC. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam’s steel production and consumption in the first half of 2019 recorded respective increases of 7.7 percent and 9.8 percent year-on-year, according to the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).

The association reported that sales of steel products in the second quarter hit 5.9 million tonnes, an increase of 3.2 percent compared to the same period last year, while exports reached 1.16 million tonnes, a yearly decrease of 47 percent.

The association predicted that the steel industry’s growth will remain stable in 2019 and 2010, but the efficiency of production and business is likely to decline.

According to Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai, the steel industry in 2019 is expected to have stable growth, contributing positively to the national economy expansion.

Notably, the Formosa Ha Tinh steel project this year will put two furnaces into full operation with a combined capacity of 7.5 million tonnes per year.

However, VSA chairman Nghiem Xuan Da pointed out difficulties facing the sector, including higher prices of materials and electricity, supply-demand imbalance, and fierce competition with low-priced imported products.

Da said that in order to ensure growth and maintain the domestic market share, businesses need the State to strengthen protection for domestic production by using effective trade defense tools.-VNA