Steel exports are likely to hit a record two million tonnes this year to earn the country a turnover of $1.8 billion, announced Vietnam Steel Association chairman Pham Chi Cuong.
Cuong attributed the results to the growing efforts by steel companies to seek new export opportunities at a time when supply is exceeding domestic demand.
The massive licensing of steel production projects in recent years has led to a supply which currently triples demand. The gloomy real estate market has also resulted in an excess of 365,000 tonnes of steel in the country's inventory.
Meanwhile, the steel industry typically has a surplus of imports so if it fails to find export opportunities, it will not have enough foreign currency to import raw materials for production, Cuong explained.
"Fostering exports is an urgent task in the current context," Cuong said.
Trade promotion schemes from the Government and relevant sectors have also shown a positive effect.
"These programmes have helped companies find partners in foreign countries," he said, adding that besides traditional markets such as ASEAN countries, the businesses also boosted their exports to the US , the Middle East and the EU.
The higher quality also helped Vietnamese steel products gain a competitive edge in international markets, he said.
In order to further expand export markets, the association emphasised the importance of regular exchanges of market information between enterprises and Vietnamese trade offices abroad.