The ASEAN region remains the biggest market for Vietnamese steel. Cambodia accounted for the largest portion of Vietnam’s total steel exports at 34.9 percent, followed by Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand.
However, the association said the domestic industry faced fierce competition from imported steel and anti-dumping lawsuits from importers.
According to the Trade Remedies Authority of Vietnam under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the sector faced 10 such lawsuits in August. Steel has always been the most prosecuted industry with eight lawsuits per month.
The Thai Ministry of Commerce extended a safeguard measure for non-alloy and non-coil coated steel sheets for the second time. The EU has applied provisional safeguards in its investigation of three Vietnamese steel products. The Malaysian Ministry of Industry and Trade has initiated anti-dumping investigations for certain iron and steel products made of ore imported from China and Vietnam.
In addition, the US Department of Commerce (DOC) is investigating unsubsidised steel products imported from Vietnam due to suspected tax evasion.
Economists said the rising number of lawsuits was unavoidable as Vietnam’s economy had integrated into the regional and world economies.
However, the fact that familiar ASEAN markets such as Thailand and Malaysia also initiated lawsuits was a worry for Vietnam’s steel industry.
For this reason, the MoIT was supporting steelmakers in investigations while helping them improve competitiveness and stop relying on imported materials.
In addition, steel producers should keep close tabs on the whole production process to be able to disprove accusations of evading taxes.