Vietnam: Steel Resurgence Sparks Optimism

Vietnam
VietnamImage Source: SteelGuru

Synopsis

November witnessed a robust rebound in Vietnam's steel industry, with a 34% YoY increase in manufacturing output and a 30% YoY rise in consumption, according to the Vietnam Steel Association. Domestic prices, stable for two months, surged in November, reaching over VNĐ14,000 per kilo. Exports soared by 29%, totaling 7.4 million metric tons. Projections from Vietcombank Securities suggest a positive outlook, with global steel prices expected to remain at VNĐ14-15 million per tonne until H1 2024.

Article:

The steel industry in Vietnam showcased a strong resurgence in November, indicating a promising recovery for the sector. Insights from the Vietnam Steel Association (VSA) reveal a remarkable 34% year-on-year increase in steel manufacturing output, totaling nearly 2.5 million metric tons. Concurrently, steel consumption experienced a significant uptick, surging by 30% year-on-year, surpassing 2.5 million metric tons.

After a stable two-month period, domestic steel prices recorded three consecutive sessions of increases in November, with the North witnessing the most substantial surge, reaching VNĐ410 per kilo during the session on November 22. Notably, the selling prices of Hòa Phát and VAS-branded steel surpassed VNĐ14,000 per kilo.

The export sector also demonstrated robust performance, with Vietnam's steel exports reaching 7.4 million metric tons in November, marking a substantial 29% increase compared to the same month last year. Key export markets included ASEAN, the EU, the US, India, and Taiwan (China).

In its steel industry outlook report released on December 13, Vietcombank Securities (VCBS) attributed the recent global steel price recovery to short-term expectations driven by Chinese government policy packages and elevated input material prices. VCBS anticipates that global bar steel prices will likely maintain levels of VNĐ14-15 million per tonne until the end of the first half of 2024, followed by subsequent price increases.

According to VCBS, the global surge in demand is expected to have a positive impact on Vietnam's steel industry. The World Steel Association forecasts a slight 2% growth in global steel consumption demand by the year-end, with a continued growth of 1.9% in 2024, particularly in European countries, Asia, and America.

VCBS projects that the gradual recovery of the domestic real estate industry will provide a foundation for steel industry demand in 2024. The revised policies by the State, gradually alleviating difficulties for the property sector (accounting for 60% of local steel demand), contribute to this optimistic outlook. The increasing number of property projects underway in both the North and the recovering South is expected to drive the recovery of construction material demand in the coming quarters.

CBS estimates a decrease of about 15% in total construction steel consumption in 2023, followed by a substantial 11% surge in 2024. The primary driving force for growth in the coming year is anticipated to stem from the recovery of the civil construction market.

Phạm Quang Anh, Director of the Mercantile Exchange of Vietnam, expresses confidence that the Government's concerted efforts to promote public capital disbursement will stimulate demand and bolster domestic business and production activities. With positive signals from the realty and construction sectors, Anh predicts a swift recovery for the steel market.

On a similar note, VNDirect Securities Corporation anticipates a booming steel industry in 2024, attributing it to the amended Land Law, which is expected to alleviate financial constraints for house buyers, injecting vigor into the real estate market.

While public investment and the realty market are heating up, contributing to increased steel demand for the remainder of the year, the VSA suggests that a robust recovery for the steel market is likely to materialize in the first quarter of 2024.

Conclusion:

The resurgence of Vietnam's steel industry in November, marked by substantial increases in manufacturing output, consumption, and exports, points towards a positive trajectory for the sector. Projections from Vietcombank Securities and industry insiders indicate a promising outlook, with the recovery expected to extend into 2024, driven by domestic and global demand, as well as supportive government policies.

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