Cement producers should cut energy and other costs and restructure to improve their financial capacity and sharpen their competitiveness, said Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai in a meeting with representatives of the State-owned Viet Nam Cement Industry Corporation.
He also urged the Viet Nam Cement Industry Corporation (VCIC) to work closely with the Ministry of Transport on its regional and provincial road-building programme, which would help to boost cement consumption.
The company should also strike an agreement with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to source raw materials and avoid the shortages in inputs that have plagued the production flow at a number of cement works in recent months, he added.
But Hai also praised the cement industry for reaching price targets set by the government this year despite high inflation and rising input costs.
VCIC earned VND20.5tn (US$985.6m) in the first nine months of the year, producing nearly 11Mt of clinker and 12.3Mt of cement. Its subsidiary companies have begun repaying debts incurred to finance the construction of the Hoang Thach No 3, Binh Phuoc, Bim Son and But Son No 2 cement plants.
However, the corporation’s general director, Nguyen Ngoc Anh, acknowledged that it would be unable to meet its pre-tax profit target for the year of VND1.25tn, having already suffered losses totalling VND7.8bn in the first nine months due to soaring interest rates and the rising costs of raw materials. In addition, heavy rains have affected many construction sites and in turn, cement demand.