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Costly pig iron fuels rise in steel prices   2009-04-19 - VietNamNet/VNS

Steel companies nationwide have raised prices by VND100,000-150,000 per tonne over the last couple of weeks, with industry experts predicting more increases to come.

According to construction steel distributors, the price of steel rod has reached about VND9.8 million (US$550) per tonne while steel bar is going for about VND10.5 ($560) million per tonne. A number of distributors blamed the price increase on higher import duties, which traders have passed on to customers.

Viet Nam Steel Association vice chairman Nguyen Tien Nghi, however, said higher prices on the international market for pig iron – a leading raw material in steelmaking – were the primary factor driving up the costs of steel.

Nghi said that pig iron imported from Russia and Ukraine had risen from $300 to $420 per tonne since late February, having a strong impact on the domestic steel market.

New steel complex

Van Loi Co Ltd will build a 500,000-tonne-capacity steel complex in Trung Ha Industrial Zone in the northern province of Phu Tho under a plan approved by Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai on Wednesday.

The provincial People’s Committee and the Ministry of Industry and Trade will conduct a feasibility study on the project which, if positive, will result in the addition of the project to the nation’s steel development plan for 2007-15.

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