The steel industry has shown signs of recovery as both inventory and imports decrease in the first four months of the year, according to the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).

The association said total steel imports in the period were 3.5 million tonnes worth 2.2 billion USD. Members sold 1.5 million tonnes of building steel, 3.79 percent less than last year, while steel pipe sales increased 20.2 percent over the same period last year.

The industry had inventory of 310,000 tonnes of building steel and 460,000 tonnes of steel ingots and amount that could meet the demand of steel factories this month.

The association attributed the decreasing inventory to businesses’ expansion of export market.

The General Customs Department added that imports were 11.6 percent lower than the same period last year, but remained relatively higher than domestic consumption.

The VSA added the industry targeted a growth rate of 2 to 3 percent this year. However, that depended on several factors including public investment and real estate market. Competition from imported steel has also creased challenges.

The association asked management agencies to limit steel imports to support domestic producers.-VNA