Cement producers in Vietnam are beginning to seek more export markets as a total of 38 new cement plants are expected to open in the next few years, according to Construction Minister Nguyen Hong Quan.
In the first five months of the year, cement plants nationwide produced 16Mt of cement, just keeping pace with demand.
However, the industry expects supply to greatly exceed demand when the new cement plants open.
Anticipating an oversupply, the Vietnam Cement Association has asked the Vietnam Cement Corp to conduct a survey on the best export markets for locally produced cement.
The Construction Ministry, however, has warned that cement supply has already surpassed demand in China and in other Association of Southeast Nations.
Earlier this year, the Construction Ministry predicted that nationwide demand for cement would increase this year by 10 to 14 per cent compared to last year.
In Ho Chi Minh City and southeastern provinces, demand has risen by 15 per cent. The demand in 2008, 2009 and 2010 is estimated to grow to 39.8Mt, 44.6Mt and 49.8Mta.
Nationally, total cement output this year is estimated to be at 40Mt as 11 cement plants are scheduled to open this year.
Another 17 cement plants are expected to open in 2009, bringing national capacity to more than 60Mt, surpassing demand by at least 10Mt. By 2010, another 18 plants with a total capacity of 14Mt will be operational.
The ministry has asked the Government to invest in construction of roads so that the cement can be easily transported from north to south.