Vietnamese steel manufacturers are facing a challenge as steel users are tending to import cheap steel from other countries rather than buying locally made material.

The trade deficit in the steel sector in the first two months 2013 topped US$1bn. The full-year figure in 2012 was as high as $5bn. Steel thus became one of the commodities with the highest trade gap in the past three years. At present, imported steel is VND200000/t ($9.568/t) cheaper than the locally manufactured steel.