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Steel exports to China double

Steel exports to China double
A man checks steel quality at a plant in Hai Duong Province, northern Vietnam. Photo by Reuters/Kham.

Vietnam has exported 1.1 million tons of steel to China in the first five months of 2021, twice that of last year, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs. China was the largest steel export market during the period, accounting for 22.5 percent of total steel exports.

Other big export markets included E.U., Mexico and Cambodia. Steel exports to E.U. during the period increased five-fold to 713,000 tons, and to Mexico, 2.5 times to 293,000 tons. Meanwhile, exports to Cambodia fell 1.5 percent to 584 million tons.

The nation exported a total of 4.88 million tons of steel between January and May, up 61.6 percent year-on-year. Export value rose 117 percent to $3.61 billion.

Steel prices in Vietnam have experienced a 40-50 percent surge since the beginning of the year, the Ministry of Industry and Trade reported. This has hit construction contractors hard, forcing them to turn down contracts as steel costs account for 10-30 percent of a construction project.

Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai has asked the Ministry of Industry and Trade to push for increased domestic steel production towards stabilizing prices.

He also said the export of steel should be lowered to ensure that local demand is met.