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Steel prices track global rise   2010-07-23 - Viet Nam News

After a period of decline, the domestic steel price increased in July by VND600,000-700,000 per tonne to VND14-14.5 million ($736-762).

Workers at Zamil Steel Viet Nam Co process steel. Domestic steel prices increased in July by VND600-700,000 per tonne to VND14-14.5mil per tonne.

Nguyen Tien Nghi, deputy chairman of the Viet Nam Steel Association (VSA), said the rise was due to the increasing price of steel ingots on the world market, which now stood at $530-560 per tonne, an increase of $20-30 per tonne compared with last month.

He said that domestic firms had increased prices to reduce losses, which were considerable this year when the local steel price bottomed out at VND11.3 million ($594) per tonne.

"The current steel price is at break-even point for domestic producers. Last month, most firms suffered losses when they had to sell their products at a little over VND12 million ($631) per tonne," Nghi said, adding: "Steel consumption is still slow and producers have had to pay high interest rates."

Nghi said he thought the current price reasonable and that it would ensure businesses to remain viable.

Over the last few months, domestic producers were forced to reduce prices as the cost of imports fell.

According to the Viet Nam Steel Association, the country imported more than 200,000 tonnes of finished steel products in the first half of the year, of which 40,000 tonnes were imported in June.

The association forecast that consumption would continue to increase in July, as would the price, as stockpiles of steel dried up.

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