Iron and steel exports witnessed a growth in the first two months of 2021

Vietnam's iron and steel exports industry have enjoyed a rapid growth of 71,9% in first two months of 2021, compared to the same period of last year, with leading domestic firms such Hoa Phat and Hoa Sen exporting large shipments.
March 07, 2021 | 14:50
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Photo: VOV

The nation exported a total of 1,568 million tonnes of iron and steel worth US$1.123 billion during the reviewed period, marking a sharp rise of 71.9% compared to last year’s corresponding period, according to data released by the General Department of Vietnam Customs, according to VOV.

January saw Hoa Phat Group, the country's leading steel maker, export roughly 10,000 tonnes of galvanized sheet partners to Belgium and Spain, while it also shipped more than 12,000 tonnes of cold galvanized steel to the Americas in February.

Along with construction steel, Hoa Phat Group has also ramped up its export of steel pipes, galvanized steel, and galvanized steel wire to foreign markets.

Furthermore, Hoa Sen Group Joint Stock Company shipped high-value batches of galvanized steel sheet to the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Southeast Asia, with export volume exceeding 100,000 tonnes per month.

Nghiem Xuan Da, chairman of the Vietnam Steel Association, said domestic steel consumption throughout the reviewed period was estimated to have decreased by 30% compared to the same period from last year.

Da believes that although a series of free trade agreements (FTAs) have come into force, such as the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Vietnam-UK Free Trade Agreement (UKVFTA), not many local firms have the capacity to increase exports to the EU market.

In general, the local steel industry faces a number of obstacles due to five further countries, including Malaysia and Philippines which are two of the country’s major markets, conducting anti-dumping investigations into Vietnamese galvanized steel and steel pipes.

Moreover, the European Commission (EC) has recently announced plans to consider extending safeguard measures for imported steel. This comes after the EU on February 1, 2019, applied a safeguard measure against imported steel in the form of tariff quotas, with three groups of steel products from the nation being levied.

Experts have therefore advised local businesses to strive to fully tap into high-value markets such as China and Cambodia moving forward, with China expected to become a billion-dollar export market with many product lines.

Vietnam’s iron and steel exports in 2020

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Vietnam reported tremendous export growth to China in 2020 (Photo: Vietnam Investment Review)

According to the preliminary statistics figures of the General Department of Customs, iron and steel exports of the whole country in 2020 reached 9.86 million tons, worth nearly 5.26 billion USD, the average price was 533.4 USD per ton, a sharp increase of 47.9 percent in volume, up by 25 percent in turnover but down by 15.5 percent in price compared to 2019.

In the first 9 months of 2020, Vietnam exported nearly 7 million tons of iron and steel, earning over 3.65 billion USD, with the average price of 522.2 USD per ton, up by 44.4 percent in volume, up by 16 percent in turnover but down by 19.7 percent in price compared to the first 9 months of 2019.

In September of 2020 only, the country exported 1.04 million tons of iron and steel, reaching 544.21 million USD, with the average price of 523.4 USD per ton, down by 10.6 percent in volume, down by 5.8 percent in turnover but up by 5.4 percent in price compared to the preceding month.

In September of 2020, the country's iron and steel exports to most markets increased compared to August of 2020; in which, the exports to several markets increased strongly, such as to Italy increased by 818 percent in volume and 370 percent in turnover, reaching 4,243 tons, equivalent to 3.99 million USD; to Singapore increased 251 percent in volume and 151 percent in turnover, reaching 3,122 tons, equivalent to 2.08 million USD; to Myanmar increased by 171 percent in volume and 150 percent in turnover, reaching 5,834 tons, equivalent to 3.55 million USD. However, the exports to Turkey fell sharply compared to August 2020, down by 62.8 percent in volume and by 82.3 percent in turnover, reaching 51 tons, equivalent to 0.05 million USD; to Germany also fell sharply by 44 percent in volume and 55 percent in turnover, reaching 213 tons, equivalent to 0.24 million USD.

Leading iron and steel export markets of Vietnam in the first nine months of 2020

In the first 9 months of 2020, China was still the most consuming market for all kinds of iron and steel of Vietnam, accounting for 36.2 percent of the total volume and accounting for 28.5 percent of the total iron and steel export turnover of the country, reaching 2.53 million tons, equivalent to 1.04 billion USD, the average price of 410.5 USD per ton, a sharp increase of 1,732 percent in volume, an increase of 1,418 percent in turnover but a decrease of 17 percent in price compared to the in the same period last year.

Cambodia ranked second, accounting for 17 percent of the total volume and total turnover, reaching 1.18 million tons, equivalent to 625.09 million USD, with the price of 529 USD per ton, reducing both in volume, turnover and price compared to in the same period of 2019, with decreases of 9.2 percent, 19 percent and 11 percent respectively.

Next to the Thai market, accounting for 8 percent of the total volume and total turnover, reaching 0.53 million tons, equivalent to $ 297.65 million, priced at $ 561 / ton, up 84.6 percent in volume, up 68.2 percent of turnover but down 8.9 percent in price over the same period in 2019.

In general, in the first 9 months of 2020, iron and steel exports to most markets decreased in turnover compared to the same period last year. The exports of iron and steel to several markets sharply decreased, such as to Egypt decreased by 96 percent in both volume and turnover, reaching 51 tons, equivalent to 0.04 million USD; to Saudi Arabia decreased by 90 percent in volume and 89 percent in turnover, reaching 603 tons, equivalent to 0.49 million USD; to the US decreased by 56 percent in volume and 51 percent in turnover, reaching 146,875 tons, equivalent to 130.93 million USD.

In contrast, the exports to Brazil increased by 196 percent in volume and 145 percent in turnover, reaching 16,734 tons, equivalent to 12.55 million USD; to Germany increased 143 percent in volume and 93 percent in turnover, reaching 2,517 tons, equivalent to 3.26 million USD; to the Philippines increased 110 percent in volume and 79 percent in turnover, reaching 377,105 tons, equivalent to 163.17 million.

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