Steel production at Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Corporation. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) -
Vietnam exported 3.44 million tonnes of steel and iron worth 2.24 billion USD in the first half of this year, up 21 percent in volume and 4 percent in value from the same period last year.

The country mainly shipped steel and iron to the markets of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United States (US) and the European Union (EU).

In the ASEAN bloc, Cambodia was the largest importer of Vietnamese steel and iron during the January-June period with 882,000 tonnes, valued at 527.7 million USD, 48.2 percent higher in volume and 37.5 percent higher in value from the first half of last year.

It was followed by Indonesia with 366,000 tonnes worth 245.3 million USD and Malaysia with 373,700 tonnes worth 230.7 million USD.

Vietnam recorded significant growth in exports to China, Brazil, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the Philippines.

In contrast, the nation’s steel and iron exports to two other major outlets – the US and the EU – saw strong declines in both volume and value, the department noted.

About 285,000 tonnes of steel and iron were exported to the US, earning the country 223.2 million USD, representing a reduction of 35 percent in volume and 41 percent in value.

Exports to the EU, meanwhile, dropped 30 percent in volume and 41 percent in value to 204,000 tonnes and 137 million USD.

Statistics from the department revealed that Vietnam also spent 4.82 billion USD importing 7.15 million tonnes of steel and iron in the first half of the year, up 4 percent in volume but down 2 percent in value compared to the same period last year.

The country's major providers of steel and iron were mainland China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Taiwan and ASEAN nations.-VNA