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August 6, 2008

Vietnam doubles steel export tax
Vietnam on Monday raised the export tariff of steel from the current 10 percent to 20 percent in a bid to curb increasing exportation by local steel makers, reported Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on Tuesday.

The raise, which applies to non-alloy steel, will be effective from August 11, the ministry said.

Local steel ingot producers in May began exporting products due to a sharp drop in domestic demand. Van Loi Steel and Cast Iron Co. shipped 10,000 tonnes to the Philippines , and Dinh Vu Steel Co. exported 30,000 tonnes to countries in Southeast Asia.

The two firms said that they were forced to export, as they could not sell the product on the domestic market. They said the Government’s lowering of the targeted growth rate as part of the anti-inflation campaign had resulted in the delay of many construction projects.

The Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) last month asked for Government permission to allow members to raise steel products prices in line with the increasing cost of input materials, namely steel ingots.

The association, which represents more than 20 leading steel makers in Vietnam, said prices of finished steel products should be raised to match regional and world levels to minimise losses.

According to VSA, Vietnam will need 4 million tonnes of steel ingots this year. Domestic producers are anticipated to supply only 50 percent of this amount, with the remaining volume to come from imports.

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