Enhancing product quality and cutting production costs would help domestic steel producers overcome difficulties (Photo: baodautu.vn)
 
Hanoi (VNA) - Enhancing product quality and optimising production costs would help domestic steel producers compete with cheap products imported from China, said Nguyen Van Sua, Vice President of the Vietnam Steel Association.

Sua said the domestic steel industry still had the opportunity to grow in 2019 as the Vietnamese Government had set a high growth target of 6.8-7 percent this year. The Government was also pushing to speed up the disbursement of public investment funds, which would push up demand for steel products used in construction projects. He expects the industry to grow by ten percent in 2019.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the steel industry was estimated to increase by 20 percent in 2018.

Le Phuoc Vu, chairman of steel maker Hoa Sen Group, said the industry would face difficulties in 2019.

In the domestic market, there was more supply than demand. The inflow of cheap and poor-quality products from China was also contributing to the fierce competition.

Customs statistics showed that much of Vietnam’s imported steel and iron products came from China with a volume of 6.27 million tonnes, accounting for 46 percent of the country’s total steel and iron import.

Vu added domestic steel producers also faced a number of trade defence lawsuits over the past year, which were weighing down exports.

Vnsteel’s director Nguyen Dinh Phuc said the market would see fierce competition in prices of steel products this year.

Phuc anticipates the Government will introduce policies to tighten the import of steel products which Vietnam is able to manufacture domestically. It should also create measures to prevent the influx of cheap and low-quality steel products from China.

Solutions to stimulate demand and develop markets for steel products should be introduces, including speeding up disbursement of public investment, creating farouvable conditions for steel producers to access credit and boosting the development of the real estate market, Phuc said.

Le Viet, Director of Southern Steel Sheet Co. Ltd, said it was important for steel producers to reduce production costs and enhance quality to be able to compete.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai urged domestic producers to keep a close watch on the market to monitor supply and demand and create appropriate production plans to avoid high inventory volumes.-VNA