February 1, 2012
It is reported that a major steel producer Vientiane Steel Industry Co Limited expects their steel supply in Laos to start increasing in February 2012 after the Chinese and Vietnamese New Year holiday.
Mr Sonesavanh Soukdala, a senior company official, said that “Steel is in short supply at the moment because many of the foundries are operated by Chinese and Vietnamese businesses which are taking a break and this is impacting on our supply. Currently the company is supplying only 20 to 30 tonnes each day. But the supply will reach 50 to 80 tonnes each day from February to April 2012.”
He said that the company sells standard grade A steel for LAK 7.8 million per tonne to dealers in Vientiane, while B grade steel is about 10% cheaper. He added that “Five or six months ago steel was selling for about LAK 7.9 million per tonne, up from LAK 7.7 million per tonne in March 20011.”
The Ministry of Industry and Commerce’s Price Planning and Marketing Division reported at the end of last month that grade A steel sold for LAK 8 million and B grade steel for LAK 6.5 million per tonne in the Vientiane market.
In Khammuan province, the price varied from LAK 6 million to LAK 8 million per tonne depending on the grade. In Champassak province, prices ranged from a very cheap LAK 3 million up to LAK 7.7 million per tonne. In Luang Prabang province, they varied from LAK 6 million to LAK 7 million per tonne, and from LAK 7 million to LAK 8 million per tonne in Phongsaly province.
The Vientiane Steel Industry Co Limited, which is based in Hadxaifong district, imported raw steel in the form of billet for USD 500 to USD 600 per tonne in November 2010. The billet price rose to USD 700 per tonne in March 2011.
Mr Sonesavanh said that “Billet steel cost USD 710 per tonne by the end of last month. This is a small change and we are still keeping the current steel price unchanged. The amount of raw material we import depends on the local market demand for steel.”
The company imports billet from Russia, India, Japan and Thailand. The factory opened in 1997. Vientiane is home to several steel factories including the Vientiane Steel Industry, a JV between investors from Laos and Hong Kong.
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