Colour-coated steel produced at the Hoang Ha Group Joint Stock Company in the northern province of Quang Ninh. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s steel production reached about 4.69 million tonnes in the first half of 2018, up 7 percent against last year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The increase was attributed to the economy’s overall growth, with a host of infrastructure and real estate projects set to begin in 2018. The Government’s disbursement of public investment from the beginning of the year also aided the sector.

According to the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA), between now and year’s end, several steel projects will become operational.

The Hoa Sen Group will put into use galvanising, cold rolling and colour-coated lines capable of handling about 350,000 tonnes per year, while the Hoa Phat will operate a blast furnace of 2 million tonnes per year in capacity in Quang Ngai and another of 3.8 million tonne per year at the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel plant.

VSA Vice President Nguyen Van Sua said in 2018, Vietnam’s steel sector can grow at a high speed of 17-18, even 20 percent compared to 2017.

Sua also pointed to challenges facing the industry, including protective measures imposed on Vietnamese steel products by the US, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and India.

Notably, US President Donald Trump on March 8 imposed a 25-percent tariff on imported steel and a 10-percent tariff on aluminum, insiders said, adding great efforts are needed for Vietnamese companies to meet its steel export goal of 5 million tonnes this year.-VNA