The Saigon Times Weekly
Foreign trade still in surplus
Global economic woes have continued to batter Vietnam’s foreign trade, with a fall in both imports and exports in the first four months. According to data of the General Statistics Office, imports-exports in April were estimated at US$53.57 billion, down 7.7% month-on-month and 18.8% year-on-year. Overall, imports-exports in the first four months reached US$210.79 billion, down 13.6% from the year-earlier period. Exports were US$108.57 billion, down by 11.8%, and imports US$102.22 billion, down 15.4%.
Due to the greater fall of imports versus exports, the country still enjoyed a trade surplus of US$6.35 billion in the four-month period. The domestic sector suffered a trade deficit of US$8.04 billion while the foreign investment sector gained a surplus of US$14.39 billion.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade attributed the steep fall in export revenue to rising inflationary pressure, trade defense inquiries imposed on Vietnamese goods, and weak demand in the global market, especially for non-essential products.
There were five export commodities with revenue of over US$5 billion each, including phones and components (US$17.42 billion), down 17.3% year-on-year; electronics, computers and parts (US$16.13 billion), down 8.9%; machinery, equipment and parts (US$13.05 billion), down 5.9%; textiles and garments (US$9.57 billion), down 18.3%; and footwear (US$6.13 billion), down 16.3%.
Two commodities had an import value of over US$5 billion each, including electronics, computers and parts (US$25.41 billion), and machinery, equipment and parts (US$12.45 billion).
The United States continued to be the largest market for exports, with US$28.4 billion. Meanwhile, China was the largest supplier for imports, with US$33.3 billion.
Vietnam enjoyed a surplus of US$24.4 billion in trade with the U.S., US$9.3 billion with the EU and US$367 million with Japan.