Despite tighter trade protection measures against trade fraud activities, Vietnam imported 12.24 million tons of steel worth over US$8.1 billion in the first ten months of 2019, up 7% year-on-year in quantity and down 3.1% in value, in which China continues to be Vietnam’s largest steel exporter representing around 37% of Vietnam’s total steel imports, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs (GDVC).
During the January – October period, Vietnam spent US$2.95 billion importing 4.64 million tons of steel from China, down 12.7% in quantity and 22.9% in value year-on-year. The neighboring country remained Vietnam’s leading supplier of steel over the last three years, with the quantity and value growing at two-digit growth rates annually.
Japan came in second place with 1.72 million tons worth US$1.14 billion, down 7.9% in quantity and 13.7% in value year-on-year, while India claimed the third position with 1.54 million tons worth US$798 million, up 189.8% in quantity and 133.5% in value.
Notably, despite trade protection measures from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT), Vietnam’s steel imports continue to surge.
The MoIT previously decided to extend the validity of anti-dumping duties on cold-rolled stainless steel products originated from China, Indonesia and Taiwan for another five years, starting from October 26.
The market share of domestic steel companies witnessed a decrease during the 2018 - 2019 period and currently has shrunk to 42.8%, indicating the foreign companies are selling below their home market prices.
In early October, the MoIT also imposed anti-dumping duties on Chinese extruded aluminum bars at rates ranging from 2.49% to 35.58%, following complaints from local producers filed last October.
A report from the Vietnam Steel Association suggested Vietnam’s steel industry has been at the center of trade probes from other countries following the escalation of the US – China trade war, particularly with growing cases of illegal transshipment of Chinese products via a third country to the US in an attempt to avoid the latter’s import tariffs. Hanoitimes
The largest steelmaker in Vietnam is considering a hold on its third blast furnace facility due to concerns with China’s steel presence in the country.
According to the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA), in the first nine months of 2019, domestic steel output reached 18.83 million tons, an increase of 6.7 percent compared with the same period last year.