The Government will allow the Ministry of Construction and the Vietnam Cement Association (Cemas) and other cement producers to submit a plan to bring nationwide cement prices in line with regional rates, according to an official.Deputy minister of Construction Tong Van Nga said that the Government had asked his ministry and Cemas to research the effects of recent coal, electricity and petrol price hikes on the cost of cement production and to prepare a road map to adjust cement prices starting at the beginning of 2006.
The ministry had also instructed cement producers to find ways to cut production and transportation costs to keep the new prices competitive compared with other countries in the region, Nga said.
Local-made cement currently sells for US$45-55/t while Thai cement costs $65/t.
In the first nine months of this year, the Vietnamese cement industry produced almost 13Mt of product, more than double the amount put out a decade ago - but locally produced cement still met only 45 percent of domestic demand.
The country has been forced to import about 4.5Mt of clinker a year.
Local cement producers expect that by 2007 the country will no longer need to import cement. Several cement factories, including Phuc Son and Hai Phong 2, are scheduled to open at the end of 2005.
The State-owned Vietnam Cement Corporation, the country’s largest cement producer, is planning to equitise its affiliated companies to raise more capital for cement production.
The corporation plans to equitise three of its cement plants - Bim Son, But Son and Ha Tien 2 - by the end of this year.