Construction steel price increased VND150,000 per ton on Monday under the impact of rising input costs, including higher electricity and fuel bills, said builders and steel dealers and manufacturers in HCMC.
Do Duy Thai, general director of Viet Steel Corporation, known for Pomina Steel, said: “Although the demand for steel has not improved much, higher transport costs, power prices and material prices force us to hike steel price rather than suffering losses.”
Representative of a steel outlet named Vinh Hung in Go Vap District said the retail price of construction steel in the city was about VND14.9 million per ton. Thus, VND150,000 is just a slight rise and will have no major impact on the purchasing power, he predicted.
The Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) informed its members in the first seven months of the year sold around 2.6 million tons of construction steel, up 3% year-on-year.
VSA General Secretary Dinh Huy Tam remarked construction steel consumption began to improve in June as the economy gradually picked up steam, interest rates went down and many property projects were restarted.
* Some 33.6 million tons of cement was sold in the first seven months, up 7% year-on-year, with cement and clinker exports picking up 50% to 6.7 million tons, said an official from the Ministry of Construction.
Talking to the Daily on Monday, Le Van Toi, head of the Building Materials Department under the construction ministry, informed 2.3 million tons of cement and 4.4 million tons of clinker had been exported in January-July, an increase of 50% over the same period last year. These products were mainly sold to the Middle East, Africa and some Southeast Asian markets.
Currently, the local cement industry still has around 2.6 million tons of unsold products, mainly clinker. This inventory level is not worrisome as it is equivalent to the quantity of materials for 12-14 days of production only, said Toi.
No cement price fluctuations were recorded in the first seven months of the year although the prices of coal, electricity and fuel and financing costs remained high, causing manufacturers many difficulties, according to the construction ministry.
Some products of Ha Tien Cement and Holcim on Monday retailed at VND800,000-820,000 per bag of 50 kilos. This price level has been unchanged in recent months.
The total capacity of the local cement industry is now approximately 66 million tons per year. Total cement consumption in 2013 is estimated at 56-57 million tons.