Vietnam’s steel production declined by 12.5pc to 1.9mn mt in April 2020 compared to the previous month and fell by 15.2pc compared to the same month in 2019, according to the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA).
The country’s steel sales fell by 16.6pc to 1.7mn mt in April compared to March 2020 and dropped by 15.6pc over April 2019. Steel exports in April declined by 38pc to 261,816mt, a significant fall from the previous month and fell by 36.5pc over the same month last year, VSA data indicated.
The country’s hot rolled coil production in April 2020 fell by 6pc while sales for the product declined by 12pc, from the same month in 2019.
For the first four months of 2020, steel production in Vietnam decreased 8.4pc to 7.6mn mt compared to the same period a year ago. Steel sales declined 13.3pc to 6.8mn mt compared to the January-April 2019 period, while steel exports fell by 25pc to 1.3mn mt during the same period under comparison.
Vietnam’s steel imports declined 8.6pc to 1.3mn mt in March from the same month last year and stood at 3.3mn mt for the first three months of the year. Steel imports from China accounted for 28pc of total imports at 932,000mt.
In March, Vietnam exported 815,000mt, an increase of 18pc from February and a 47pc rise compared to the same month last year. Vietnam exported 60pc of all steel to Southeast Asian countries. US (Hoa Ky) received 2.3pc of total Vietnam exports while the EU received 3.2pc. Other destinations included China at 15.3pc, South Korea at 3.9pc, Taiwan at 3.7pc, and India 0.6pc.
Since November 2016, the US Department of Commerce began formal investigations on whether Chinese companies shipped steel through Vietnam to avoid import tariffs previously established. In March 2017, Commerce assessed final duties on Chinese stainless steel. In May 21, 2018, the US Commerce Department introduced import duties on Vietnamese steel products that originated in China.
In June 2019, the Vietnamese government found fake product-origin certificates and illegal transfers by companies trying to side US tariffs. Vietnam pledged to increase penalties for trade fraud. The US recently launched a probe on Chinese stainless steel routed through Vietnam, some of which is minimally processed in Vietnam, but could be circumventing previous anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties.