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Overview of the Steel Industry in Vietnam and How to Buy Steel

flag of Vietnam


Brief Introduction of Vietnam

  • Vietnam has a population of 96.46 million.
  • Capital: Hanoi
  • Official languages: Vietnamese
  • Total area: 331,213 km2
  • Currency: Vietnamese dong


Economy of Vietnam

Vietnam is the 21st largest economy in Asia and 36th in the world. Indonesia has a GDP of $261.9 billion with a GDP growth rate of 7% annual change, seeing an increasing exponential trend over the years. The largest industries of Vietnam include:

  • Electronics
  • Construction
  • Mining
  • Services and Tourism
  • Banking
  • Food Processing


Vietnam’s economy is divided into

  • Agriculture: 14.7% of GDP
  • Industry: 34.5% of GDP
  • Services: 45.5% of GDP (approximately)


The main importers of Vietnam’s goods are:

  • China: 19.6% of total Vietnamese exports
  • United States: 18.1%
  • Japan: 7.43%
  • South Korea: 7.1%
  • Germany: 4.1%


The main exporters to Vietnam are:

  • China: 32.9% of Vietnam’s imports
  • South Korea: 19.2%
  • Japan: 6.15%
  • Thailand: 5.12%
  • Singapore: 4.64%


Steel Use in Vietnam

building under construction in Vietnam


Given the economic growth of Vietnam, it is an attractive country for steel trade. Vietnam’s steel industry is diverse and includes steel mainly for construction, but also minorly for automobile and ship building. Construction uses about 93% of all consumed steel in Vietnam. In 2018, Vietnam consumed about 16.5 million tons of steel and in one year, the steel consumption increased by over 20%.


The construction industry for this country is highly competitive and will continue to grow, and demand for steel will do the same. The Vietnam Construction Industry has growing at a rate of about 8.5% every year for the last decade. Vietnam has a large railway construction project that will be in high demand of steel, in order to construct a new line and improve the railways that already exist.


The automotive industry in Vietnam has been rapidly growing at over 20% each year. However, they still face much competition and they have to import a large quantity of their raw materials, 80% to 90%, in order to produce their automobiles.

Vietnam Sea port and Trading

Hai Phong Sea Port


Vietnam is accessible by both land and sea. Their government has been putting focus into developing sea ports for more trading and expanding capacity, especially for the benefit of the construction industry. For international trading, the three largest sea ports are:

  • Hai Phong port (north)
  • Da Nang port (central)
  • Saigon port (south)


For importing the good, Camasteel uses the largest port of Hai Phong port.

What Steel does Vietnam import?

According to the latest trade data, Vietnam imported over 14 million tons of iron and steel, spending about $10 billion.

Vietnam imports

  • $1.29 billion of flat rolled steel products
  • $820.7 million of bars and rods
  • $47.7 million of semi-finished products
  • $77.4 million of steel wire


Vietnam imports steel products such as

Cold rolled steel plate at Camasteel



round steel bar at Camasteel



steel wire rod at Camasteel



checkered plates at Camasteel


What regulations are there on importing steel in Vietnam?

It is not a requirement for a company to have an import or export license when setting up a trade company in Vietnam. However, in order to import or export, a foreign investor has to be registered with the Department of Planning and Investment. They must also acquire an Investment Certificate.

The goods being exported or imported may also be subject to tariffs. Although, equipment or materials used for production purposes typically have low tariffs or can be tax exempt. Imported steel must go through customs and when at this stage, the quality of the steel is examined, making sure there is no low-quality steel entering the country to be used.

Why should Vietnam import steel?

Availability – Vietnam is one of the greatest infrastructure spenders in Asia, following China. They are usually in high demand for steel to be used in their construction industry. Although Vietnam produces a lot quantity of their steel, they need to import in order to keep up with their demand.

Steel Cost – Vietnam spends over $6 billion on imported steel and iron products. Given the competition, and costs and availability of steel production, it is worth it for Vietnam to import a portion of their steel needs.

Steel Quality – Vietnam takes great precaution in purchasing high-quality steel. They have quality requirements for their imported steel.

Where Can I Buy Steel for Vietnam?

If you’re looking to buy small amounts of steel, there are local options more available for convenience. However, if you are looking to import in bulk and achieve cost savings, Camasteel has been exporting steel to clients in Vietnam. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] or WhatsApp us at +86-131-2037-9271 for a FREE quotation.