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Steel Production Still Mired In Hardship 07/08/2013 17:02

The steel industry is expected to see more challenges in the coming time as the real estate market remains sluggish, inventory keeps piling up and China-made cheap steel products continue to flow into the country.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade in a report released at the regular press briefing in Hanoi on Monday said that local steel firms have also undercut one another to raise market shares and compete with others.

In the January-July period, over 1.5 million tons of raw steel and iron was consumed, down 13.6% against 2012, while rolled steel sales reached nearly 1.6 million tons, up 24.5% year-on-year. Steel bar and angle steel sales was nearly two million tons, an 8.4% increase.

To speed up sales and reduce stockpile, most producers have offered promotion programs and raised discounts for customers. They have cut sale prices for construction projects and given transport cost assistance.

Compared to June, steel prices in July declined by VND100,000-250,000 a ton depending on areas and brands.

According to the General Statistics Office, the steel industry reported a trade deficit of nearly US$3 billion from January to July. The nation exported 1.2 million tons of steel worth US$1 billion while imported 5.4 million tons worth US$4 billion, up 10.5% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the mechanics, electric and electronics sectors saw positive signs in the Jan-July period.

During this period, assembled auto output reached nearly 55,000 units, up 13% year-on-year, bike production output was over 2.1 million units, a 19% increase, television set output was nearly 1.6 million units, up 3.8%, and cell-phone output increased 8.5% to 66 million units.

The Government’s tax incentives and reduction of auto registration fee from 15% to 10% were reasons for production improvements of the industries.

(Source: thesaigontimes.vn)

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