The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) reports steel production and consumption faced difficulties in January due to an imbalance in supply and demand.
Many businesses only managed to achieve 40-50% of their production capacity, fuelling production costs.
Demands for steel in late Lunar New Year (Tet) declined significantly despite reduced sale prices. The purchasing power was rather low as most construction projects had been completed before Tet.
In January, iron and raw steel output was estimated at 236,800 tonnes, down 22.4% against the same period last year while rolled steel was estimated at 309,800 tonnes, up 16.7% and steel bar 248,700 tonnes, (down 3%).
Some steel mills temporarily halted production during Tet to save operation costs, knowing market demands would not increase after Tet.
To ease business difficulties and and remove barriers, the steel sector should focus investment in producing steel ingots to reduce dependence on imported materials.
As of January 25, the MoIT temporarily imposed an anti-dumping tariff on some cold-rolled stainless steel products imported from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan.
Earlier on January 1, the MoIT regulated to apply national technical standards for steel reinforced concrete, with the aim of protecting the legitimate rights of domestic producers and customers.