The domestic steel market has continued to be quiet as consumption is at a low level, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The ministry told a press meeting in Hanoi on August 4 that low steel consumption was due to the economic slowdown.

The ministry also said that raw steel output in July reached 311,300 tonnes, representing 21 percent year-on-year increase. Rolled steel was 295,500 tonnes, rising 18 percent over the same period last year. Steel bar output rose 1.5 percent in comparison with the corresponding period last year to 285,200 tonnes.

In the first seven months of the year, raw steel output reached 708,900 tonnes, posting a 0.8 percent year-on-year increase while that of rolled steel was 2.01 million tonnes, increasing 24 percent compared with last year.

Steel imports in the period rose 5.8 percent in terms of quantity and reduced 1.2 percent in terms of value.

In addition, shops had not imported a large quantity of steel last month because of the rains which were not suitable for construction, it said.

In July, steel prices in the north showed a downward trend of 100,000 to 200,000 VND per tonne over the previous month. Several steel producers in the region reduced prices through increased discounts and waiver of transport costs.

Selling prices in the south were stable with some producers increasing the price from 100,000 to 200,000 VND per tonne due to the increasing input.-VNA