The Vietnam Ministry of Construction has proposed the Ministry of Finance to consider cutting tax on clinker imports from ASEAN and non-ASEAN countries to 0%, state media reported Tuesday.
Clinker sources from ASEAN nations are now scarce so domestic steelmakers have to buy from non-ASEAN countries with import tax of 10%, while clinker prices on the global market are high, at $70-$75/ton.
The Ministry of Construction said the adjustment of clinker import tax is to support local steel enterprises’ production, aiming at stabilizing the domestic cement market.
The reduction of clinker import tax will not affect Vietnam’s commitments on WTO membership as the proposal on cutting clinker import tax is based on the implementation of the cement industry development plan along with the current market fluctuations, said Deputy Construction Minister Nguyen Tran Nam.
The Ministry of Construction has recently confirmed sufficient cement supply for 2008 and the situation will be better in 2009 because the cement industry will operate 10 new plants with a combined designed capacity of 12.28Mta this year and 20 other new plants capable of turning out a total of 15.22Mta next year.