Vietnam: Cement industry looks to limit imports

Vietnam: Cement industry looks to limit imports
Published: 23 November 2010

The domestic cement industry expects to export between 200,000-250,000t of clinker and cement in the remaining months this year in a bid to hit an annual total of 700,000t.

The Ministry of Construction predicts the country’s cement consumption in 2010 will reach 50-51.5Mt, an 11 per cent year-on-year increase.

Deputy minister of Construction Nguyen Tran Nam said in October alone, total cement consumption was estimated at 3.88Mt, a decrease of 8 per cent against September, attributed to rains and floods in the central provinces.

In the first 10 months, the industry sold 40.4Mt of cement reaching 80 per cent of its yearly target, a 12 per cent increase over the same period last year. By the end of October, the industry will have exported around 470,000t of cement.

In October alone, 50,000tof clinker were imported, part of 1.8Mt in the first 10 months. The industry expects to import 1.9-2Mt of clinker this year, a 40 per cent drop compared to 2009. In order to limit the import of clinker, the ministry issued Decree 01/2010/TT-BXD to stipulate quality management of commercial clinker.

The ministry also asked the Vietnam Cement Corporation and joint ventures to minimise their import of clinker from Thailand for cement production in the South. The cost of transport from the North makes Vietnamese clinker become more expensive, according to cement producers.

In an attempt to boost cement exports, the Ministry of Construction has asked joint venture cement manufacturers to look for new potential markets as stated in their investment licenses.

To stabilise the domestic cement market, the ministry has worked with the Vietnam Cement Association to instruct cement producers nationwide to carry out solutions by applying advanced technology to reduce input costs.

According to the ministry, the Vietnam Cement Corporation needs to work with cement companies to carefully monitor monthly and quarterly consumption in order to meet domestic demand, especially in the construction high season.

In addition, the ministry has asked to boost the development of cement projects approved by the Government so they can be put into operation on schedule.