In a move that is likely to cause ripples in the Asean trading region and impede trade, Vietnam has imposed an anti-dumping rate of 14.38% on cold-rolled stainless steel coils produced by the Malaysian company, Bahru Stainless.

The company exports around 7kt of the product to Vietnam (worth $15.2M) and is one of a number of Malaysian producers exporting almost 60kt of cold-rolled stainless steel internationally.

News of Vietnam’s imposition of an anti-dumping tariff was met with disdain by the Malaysian Iron and Steel Industry Federation’s president, Soh Thian Lai, who described it as unfair and likely to impact upon Malaysian exports to Vietnam.

But perhaps there is method in Vietnam’s ‘madness’. Posco VST, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the eponymous South Korean steel producer, claims that it has lost US$66M since starting up in Vietnam three years ago. The company blames competition from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Taiwan.

There are fears that Vietnam’s move might have a knock-on effect on stainless steel coil trading in the region.