Domestic steel prices are expected to continue increasing due to high input costs and economic conditions, including high interest rates and fluctuating foreign exchange rates.
Vietnam Steel Association Chairman Pham Chi Cuong said the price of materials, including iron and coal, was also likely to continue rising.
Cuong said the price of finished steel products was expected to increase by 0.6-0.7% due to higher price of electricity. He said a 30% cut in electricity volume at present has reduced steel production and forced producers to import pig iron to meet domestic demand.
Steel was currently VND 17-19 million (US$795-889 USD) per tonne. However, the price would not increase much in the future because if the new price was too high, the sales of steel products would reduce, Cuong said.
Vietnam was estimated to produce 6.7 million tonnes of steel for this year, 4.2% higher than last year, said the Ministry of Industry and Trade. Meanwhile, the demand for steel ingots was expected to be 6 million tonnes. Vietnam was expected to be able to produce only 60% of that total, and would have to import a further 2 million tonnes.
In the first two months of this year, member companies of the association produced 850,000 tonnes of steel, 25.1% more than the same period last year.