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.

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