Vietnam’s steel production totaled 24.19 million mt in 2018, up 14.9% year on year, data from the Vietnam Steel Association showed.
The annual figure was derived after including December’s 2.02 million mt output, which itself was 1.6% higher from the previous year, the association said.
The higher production could be attributed to Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp., which fired up a second blast furnace on May 18, 2018, thereby doubling its crude steel production capacity to 7 million mt/year.
Annual sales totaled 21.74 million mt and exports reached 4.75 million mt, up 20.9% and 26.6%, respectively, it said, after summing up sales of 1.81 million mt and exports of 411,741 mt in December 2018, down 3% and up 1% from the same period in 2017, respectively.
Amid the higher figures, Vietnam’s steel production is expected to remain on an upward trend in 2019, due to a lot of new capacities to come on line later this year.
For example, Hoa Phat Group plans to start up its new Hoa Phat Dung Quat steel complex in 2019. The complex will have four blast furnaces with an overall production capacity of 5 million mt/year.
“But with the rising trade barriers globally, if Vietnamese steelmakers can’t find their way out, the growing capacities could add much pressure to its domestic steel market,” a Vietnam-based mill source said.
Yaang Pipe Industry Co., Limited (www.yaang.com)