Reports from the ministry showed that the total consumption of cement and clinker, two key construction material products, rose 6 percent year-on-year to 59.27 million tons in the first nine months of this year. Consumption in the domestic market was estimated at 45.28 million tons, 4 percent higher than the same period last year, including 18.9 million tons sold by the Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation.
The cement industry also exported about 13.99 million tons, nearly completing the milestone annual export target of 14-15 million tons, despite fierce competition from Thailand and China and disadvantages in tax rate and export prices.
Total consumption of cement and clinker rose 6 percent year-on-year to 59.27 million tons in the first nine months of this year.
During the period, the country also produced 141 million square meters of construction glass products, down 4 percent year-on-year.
The ceramic tile volume also reached 416 million square meters, 4 per cent higher than the same period last year, and sanitary ware production reached 9.9 million units, a year-on-year growth of 4 per cent.
In the first nine months, steel output was 15.4 million tons, posting a 24.2 percent year-on-year increase. Steel consumption also rose by 20.5 percent from the same period last year.
The steel output in September alone reached 836,624 tons, increasing 19 per cent from the corresponding period last year and 18 per cent from the previous month.
The steel consumption last month dropped 6.5 per cent from the previous month to 740,565 tons, but represented a 16.5 per cent year-on-year rise. Therefore, steel inventories in September rose 28 per cent from the previous month to 579,342 tons.
Prices of steel billet for production fluctuated at US$525-530 per ton, reducing $15 per cent from the beginning of last month. In the third quarter of the year, the steel billet price rose $90 per ton in comparison with the second quarter.
However, the construction steel price did not increase, remaining stable at VNĐ12.5 million per ton in the north and VNĐ13.5 million per ton in the south.
The average capacity of the domestic steel sector has been at 70 per cent to avoid high inventory.
According to the Vietnam Steel Association, Vietnamese steel producers are still facing pressure from imported steel. In the first eight months of the year, imported steel reached 13.5 million tons worth some $7 billion, reducing 22 per cent in terms of quantity but reporting a 3.8 per cent increase in terms of value, in comparison with the same period last year.
In addition, the trade defense measures on some steel products of coated steel, alloyed steel and steel bar have helped reduce imports.
Local steel producers, therefore, need to keep a close control on the quality of imported steel to make the market healthy.
Many domestic steel producers have been actively investing in modern technologies and expanding markets to improve their products’ quality to attract foreign customers.