State-owned Vietnam Cement Industry Corporation (Vicem) has set itself the target of exporting 1 million tons of cement this year and experts say it's the right move as local production outstrips demand.
Vietnam is among the world's largest cement producers. The country now has 105 cement production lines with a total capacity of 61 million tons per year but local demand this year is expected to be between 48 million and 50 million tons only, the Vietnam Economic Times said Wednesday.
Vicem alone will have a total output of nearly 20 million tons when its seven new plants start production this year.
Tran Van Huynh, President of Vietnam Construction Materials Association, said the best way to deal with the surplus was to export it because it was not easy to boost local consumption at this time.
In fact, exports should be considered a valve to regulate the local cement market, said Bui Hong Minh, general director of investment and consultant firm Cement Finance Company.
Experts said local producers need to make their products more competitive in terms of price and quality. The target markets for Vietnamese cement products should be developing countries instead of the US and European countries, they added.
Vietnam's cement consumption rose 6.4 percent to 10.27 million tons in the first three months this year, according to the General Statistics Office.
The country exported cement for the first time in March last year but it was a small shipment of only 12,500 tons to Africa.