Vietnamese steel makers facing cheap imports

As reported by Tuoi Tre News, Vietnamese steel manufacturers are facing a new challenge as businesses are tending to import cheap steel from other countries rather than buying locally made products.
The trade deficit in the steel sector in the first two months of this year topped USD 1B. The full year figure in 2012 was as high as USD 5B. Steel thus became one of the commodities with the highest trade gap in the last three years.

Director of MT, a commercial manufacturing company based in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7, which imported 10,000tns of galvanized steel, said “At present, imported steel is VND 200,000, a ton cheaper than the locally manufactured counterpart, with all fees excluded. It’s all about prices.”

Mr Pham Chi Cuong, Chairman of the Vietnam Steel Association, admitted that many companies are importing even products that local steel makers are able to manufacture. He said “The loose management policy on steel imports is one of the main culprits.”

He added “Ironically, while Vietnamese steel exporters are facing anti-dumping lawsuits in Thailand and Indonesia, products, even those of poor quality, from other countries can easily penetrate Vietnam. Thailand and Indonesia have set up technical barriers to prevent imported products from dominating the market, a move that has not been repeated in Vietnam.”

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