The steel market is likely to recover in the third and fourth quarters of this year thanks to augmented efforts to disburse public investment and credit packages for social housing projects, along with positive signs of the Vietnamese economy, said Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) Doan Danh Tuan.
He thought that though 2023 remains full of difficulties and challenges to industries, Vietnam is believed to hold much more potential than other economies. Its GDP growth is forecast to reach some 6.5% while the global rate is predicted to hit about 1.5% and Southeast Asia 5% on average.
The National Assembly approved an aid package worth 350 trillion VND (14.9 billion USD) for economic recovery for 2022 - 2023, including 113.84 trillion VND for infrastructure development, with a focus on such key projects as the North - South Expressway, the Long Thanh International Airport, and large logistics ports.
Last February, the Government also gave the green light to a credit package worth 120 trillion VND for social housing projects.
These factors should lead to soaring steel demand in Q3 and Q4, Tuan said.
He went on to say that in the long term, per capita steel demand in Vietnam will continue to increase from 240kg at present to 290kg by 2030, and focus on alloy and high-quality steel.
In the first two months of 2023, crude steel production declined 22% year on year to 2.9 million tonnes while sales fell 10% to 3.1 million tonnes. However, the market has begun to rebound, according to the VSA.
Tran Dinh Long, Chairman of the Hoa Phat Group, said the most trying times of the steel industry may have passed, and his company’s quarter-by-quarter performance is representative of the current state of the industry.
The capacity of Hoa Phat and other enterprises in the industry is good, but their prospects still depend on the market's demand, he added, expressing his hope that the Government will further boost public investment in the time ahead.
In March, Hoa Phat manufactured 440,000 tonnes of crude steel, up 6% from February. It sold 500,000 tonnes of steel billets, construction steel, and hot-rolled coil steel, rising 5% month on month./.
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