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ECONOMYINDUSTRY

Vietnam’s cement exports hit record high, topping US$1 billion

Updated at Wednesday, 02 Jan 2019, 11:03
The Hanoitimes - The export volume rose 55% on year, according to the Vietnam Cement Association (VNCA).

Vietnam reaped an estimated of US$1.2 billion from exporting 31.65 million tons of cement in 2018, the highest-ever export value in this sector so far. 

A cement production line. Photo: Vicemtamdiep.com.vn
A cement production line. Photo: Vicemtamdiep.com.vn

The export volume rose 55% on year, the Vietnam Cement Association (VNCA) said, giving no comparative figures.

Currently, Vietnamese cement has been shipped to more than 40 countries with an average price of US$50/ton for cement and US$38-US$42/ton of clinker, up 20%-23% from the rates in 2016, according VNCA’s Chairman Nguyen Quang Cung

Cung attributed the rising export to higher demand in China where a number of cement production lines have been shut down due to pollution. 

The Ministry of Construction (MoC), meanwhile, said that the fast growth in the export was thanks to the better performance of the construction sector, mostly real estate and transport projects. 

In 2018, the domestic cement consumption reached 65.08 million tons, up 9% on year. 

The ministry estimated that the cement volume would rise 6%-8% in 2019 to around 99 million tons, including 69 tons for the domestic market and the remaining 30 million tons for export. 

The main export markets in 2019 would be the Philippines, Bangladesh, China, Taiwan, and Peru. However, experts have warned Vietnamese cement exporters of risks from the Chinese market.  

Cement for export: Photo: VNS
Cement for export: Photo: VNS

Worries remain 

At present, Vietnam is home to 84 production lines with total capacity of 101.74 million tons/year. 

Cung warned that the producers should closely follow the market demand to have suitable production plans. Low productivity remains the biggest challenge to cement sector, leading to high input cost and negative environmental impacts, he noted.

The domestic producers need to have long-term investment which focuses on improving productivity and quality to make Vietnamese cement more competitive in the international market, he emphasized. 

Vietnam’s cement is now priced at US$48-50/ton in the international market, compared to US$65/ton from Thailand, US$100/ton from the Philippines and US$102/ton from Indonesia, according to Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation (VICEM). 

Linh Pham
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