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Vietnam Today

January trade in deficit

Released at: 17:25, 31/01/2018

January trade in deficit

Illustrative image (Source: tapchitaichinh.vn)

Higher imports prior to Tet largely responsible, according to GSO.

by Quang Huy

Vietnam posted a trade deficit of $300 million in January due to soaring imports as the Tet holidays approach, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The January deficit ended a string of trade surpluses in the last three months of 2017, with the country importing $19.3 billion worth of goods, up 47.4 per cent year-on-year.

Compared to December, however, import value fell 3 per cent. The domestic sector imported $7.8 billion worth of imports and the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector $11.5 billion.

Export value also rose significantly in January, by 33.1 per cent over January last year, reaching $19 billion. The figure, however, was 3.3 per cent lower than export turnover in December.

The domestic sector ran a trade deficit of $2.4 billion while the FDI sector posted a surplus of $2.1 billion.

Exports of major products increased during the month, such as phones and components (worth $4.2 billion, up 80.7 per cent), garments and textiles ($2.3 billion, up 7.6 per cent), electronics, computers, and components ($2.2 billion, up 37.9 per cent), and footwear ($1.3 billion, up 11.5 per cent).

China surpassed the US to become Vietnam’s largest export market, with revenue totaling $4.5 billion in January; a 2.5-fold increase against January 2017.

Exports to the US totaled $3.5 billion, up 17 per cent, EU markets $3 billion, up 6.6 per cent, ASEAN markets $1.7 billion, up 15.7 per cent, Japan $1.5 billion, up 18.6 per cent, and South Korea $1.3 billion, up 28 per cent.

Vietnam mainly imported phones and parts worth $1.8 billion, an increase of 115 per cent year-on-year, electronics, computers, and parts $3.75 billion, up 72.3 per cent, and machinery and equipment $2.8 billion, up 25.4 per cent.

The importation of automobiles fell significantly in January, by 17.9 per cent to $304 million.

Figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development reveal that agriculture, forestry, and fishery exports in January were $3.09 billion, an increase of 25.9 per cent year-on-year.

Vietnam imported $2.78 billion worth of agriculture, forestry, and fishery products in the month, up 48.1 per cent year-on-year.

Vietnam maintained a trade surplus of about $2.7 billion in 2017, virtually the same as in 2016, according to the GSO. National trade value was estimated at nearly $425 billion, representing a bright spot in the economic picture for the year, the office said.

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