Vietnam’s steel exports face tough trade barriers
Steel manufacturers are facing bigger barriers, trade remedies and measures to restrict imports from major markets. However, exports are expected to reach $3 billion this year.
The Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) has asked domestic steel manufacturers to diversify export markets instead of focusing on certain markets, which causes sharp increases in exports to those markets.
The request has been made as Vietnam’s steel industry is facing lawsuits and investigations for trade remedies by Australia, the US, Thailand and Malaysia, which will affect Vietnam’s steel exports in the time to come.
“The pressure put by lawsuits on exports will be tough,” said Nguyen Van Sua, VSA’s chair.
According to the Ministry of Industry & Trade (MOIT), Australia initiated an anti-dumping investigation against rod in coil imports from Vietnam with the plaintiffs accusing Vietnam of a dumping margin of 30.6 percent.
The ministry’s website showed that the period subject to the anti-dumping investigation was from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, while the period under damage enquiry was from January 2013 to now.
Prior to that, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) initiated an anti-dumping and anti-countervailing investigation against steel nails imported from Vietnam and later released a decision on imposing anti-dumping and anti-countervailing duties on the products.
However, in the latest news, DOC has announced its preliminary conclusions and partial rescission of the antidumping duty, as they have conducted an administrative review of certain steel nails from Vietnam.
However, Vietnam still hopes it can export 4 million tons of steel this year with export turnover of $3 billion. In 2016, despite great efforts, Vietnam could only obtain export turnover of $2.5 billion.
In the first five months of 2017, Vietnam exported 1.4 million tons of steel products of different kinds, an increase of 35 percent over the same period last year.
Not only targeting South East Asian markets, Vietnam has begun exporting products to markets such as the US and EU. In late May, a big steel manufacturer exported a consignment of 12,000 tons worth $9 million to the EU.
Meanwhile, steel consumption in the domestic market in the first five months of the year was not as high as expected. The total output was 7.9 million tons, an increase of 12 percent over the same period last year, but consumption increased by only 7.2 percent.
Vietnam is imposing a safeguard duty of 23 percent on ingot steel and the duty will be cut gradually by 1-2 percent every year over a four year period. By March 2020, the import tariff on ingot steel imports will be cut to zero percent.
Thanh Lich, VNN