Domestic steel prices rise
The Saigon Times Daily
HCMC - Steel prices on the domestic market have gone up by VND400,000-VND600,000 per ton compared to January and steel production also increased as makers stepped up operations after the Tet holiday, according to Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).
Nguyen Van Sua, vice president of VSA, said the current steel prices at factories are around VND10.6 million to VND11.2 million per ton. Steel prices have risen due to higher material prices and world prices, the Vietnam News Agency reports.
Beside an increase in the price of domestic steel billet, purchases by distributors to meet part of February's demand and to add stocks for March sales, especially in the northern regions, also caused steel prices to climb.
According to VSA data, early March domestic steel scrap prices increased to US$285- US$290 per ton, up US$$15-20 per ton compared to late January and early February.
Meanwhile, world steel billet prices reached US$430-440 per ton in early March, up by US$20-25 per ton. Therefore, domestic steel billet prices had increased from VND9,600 to VND9,800 per kilogram in late February and VND10,200 per kg in early March.
The hot rolled steel prices remained high at US$515-523 per ton while the highest price recorded was US$528 per ton at the end of last year.
In February, VSA members’ production reached more than 1.5 million tons, up nearly 29% year-on-year and more than 11% month-on-month while steel sales reached over 1 million tons, up nearly 74% compared to the previous month and over 43% higher compared to last year.
Exports of steel products reached over 267,700 tons, down 4.5% from last year, but up nearly 7% compared to last month.
VSA forecasts March sales will continue to increase over February.
According to the VSA, the local steel industry will continue to face difficulties this year since the United States, which accounted for 27% of Vietnam's steel exports last year, is investigating a tax evasion case against Vietnam given its suspicion that cheap Chinese steel was “retagged” as Vietnamese one for export to the US. The case will cause difficulties for Vietnam’s steel exports stateside, especially with galvanized steel.