HANOI    -   Vietnam spent more than 5.6 billion U.S. dollars importing over 9.7 million tons of steel and iron in the first eight months of this year, down 13.2 percent in value and up 0.9 percent in volume against the same period last year.

The major markets supplying steel and iron to Vietnam in the period included China, Japan and South Korea, according to the Vietnam Steel Association.

In August alone, the country imported 1.6 million tons of the products worth 828 million U.S. dollars, surging 25 percent in volume and down 0.2 percent in value on-year, according to the association.

In 2019, Vietnam poured nearly 9.5 billion U.S. dollars into importing roughly 14.6 million tons of steel and iron, up 7.6 percent in volume but down 4.2 percent in value against 2018, according to its General Statistics Office.

Meanwhile, the country reaped approximately 4.2 billion U.S. dollars from exporting almost 6.6 million tons of the products, seeing an increase of 5.4 percent in volume and a decrease of 8.5 percent in value, said the office.