Vietnamese steel producers increased export bookings following dull domestic demand and dampened steel consumption amid various difficulties caused by the new wave of COVID-19 which consequently led to strict movement restrictions for public and goods and temporarily halted port operations, said Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).
Construction operations at many projects were temporarily postponed in the first seven months of the year. The southern region of the country which is the highest consumer of construction steel was the worst hit. This led to a decline in demand for raw materials for both ferrous scrap and iron ore imports.
Boosted flat steel exports led to high sales –
Total sales of colour-coated metal sheets in July reached 428,084mt, down 6.58pc from June but up 18.8pc from the prior year. Out of the total sales, 300,404mt of colour-coated metal sheets was for export, up 84.2pc against July 2020.
Total consumption of HRC reduced by 6.8pc from June to 559,487mt but surged by 82.7pc against July 2020.
Total export of finished steel was recorded at 658,207mt in July, up 5.96pc from June and by 55pc from the prior year when the first
COVID-19 wave disrupted exports.
Steel production slips from June –
Crude steel production in July declined by 6.48pc to 2.4mn mt from June. Steel consumption was flat at 2.1mn mt from June by increased by 7.4pc from the prior-year period.
In July, HRC production crossed 590,000mt, down by 1.21pc from June but up by 85.4pc from last year due to a low base.
Hoa Sen finishes steel sales was at 1.1mn mt, the highest this year, occupying around 36.7pc of the domestic market share. Followed by Nam Kim, which sold around 498,000mt with 16.8pc of the domestic market share.
Bullish recovery in galvanized sheet and steel pipe demand in the US and Europe, helped Hoa Phat secure more export orders and boost productions.
The Vietnam Steel Association forecasted, domestic steel consumption in the third and fourth quarters would depend on the steps taken to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic from spreading. The association remained cautious about steel production and consumption this year.