August 6, 2008

Vietnam Doubles Steel Billet Export Tax

Vietnam doubles steel billet export tax

HANOI, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam will levy an export tax rate of 20 percent on materials for steel production next week, instead of current 10 percent, according to the government's website on Tuesday.

Vietnam's Finance Ministry, raising the tax rate to 10 percent from 2 percent in June, has decided to double it to limit the re- export of the materials, including steel scraps, and non-alloy iron and steel in billets or other raw forms.

In recent months, some steel companies in the country have imported steel billets for steel production, but then re-exported them because they have faced the weaker domestic steel demand.

Vietnam imported over 6.4 million tons of steel billets and finished products totaling 5 billion U.S. dollars, mainly from China, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore in the first seven months of this year, posting respective year-on-year rises of 52.7 percent and 96.6 percent, according to the country's General Statistics Office.

Vietnam imported nearly 1.9 million tons of steel billets, key material for steel production, worth 1.3 billion dollars between January and July, up 58.8 percent and 136.6 percent, respectively, against the same period last year.

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