Deficit higher as shipments plunge

Thursday, Feb 06, 2014 08:00

Cargo containers are unloaded from a ship at Tien Sa Port in central city of Da Nang. In January alone both exports and imports fell compared to the previous month and over the same period in 2013. — VNA/VNS Photo Le Lam

HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The national trade deficit was US$100 million in January this year, equalling 1 per cent of the export turnover, reports the General Statistics Office (GSO).

In January alone, both exports and imports fell compared to the previous month and over the same period in 2013.

It is reported that in January, the country earned US$10.3 billion from exporting garments, computers and accessories, seafood, crude oil, wood and its products, steel and rubber. This was down 10.8 per cent year-on-year, said the office.

The country's imports in the same month also posted a slight decrease of 1.9 per cent to hit $10.4 billion, leaving a deficit of some $100 million.

Viet Nam exports mainly crude oil, textiles, seafood, rice, electronics and computers and rubber. The country imported mainly plastics, base metals, garment accessories, transportation vehicles and fertilisers from the world market.

Foreign direct investment (FDI) businesses continued to dominate trade activities as compared to domestic firms, according to the office.

FDI businesses saw a growth rate of nearly 66 per cent with an export turnover of $6.7 billion. Domestic businesses posted a turnover of $3.5 billion, a decrease of 13.8 per cent over the same period last year.

In January, the export turnover of many items fell, including coffee which fetched $250 million, a reduction of 45.7 per cent; tea and rice which

earned $17 million and $165 million respectively, a fall of 15.6 per cent and 18.9 per cent respectively; and crude oil which posted a turnover of $480 million, a fall of 34.7 per cent.

The import value in FDI and domestic businesses also declined. FDI businesses posted an import value of $5.8 billion or a decrease of 1.5 per cent over the same period last year. The import value of domestic businesses stood at $4.6 billion or a decrease of 2.3 per cent against the same period last year.

The imports of many items used for domestic production fell, such as fertilisers, electronics, computers and accessories, motorcycles, machinery and equipment.

Le Minh Thuy, a GSO analyst, attributed the decline of exports and imports in January this year to the preoccupation of local businesses and people with preparations for Tet (the Lunar New Year). She noted that the trade deficit of $100 million in January alone had presented a problem for the country's economic recovery and predicted that Viet Nam would see a high level of trade deficit this year. — VNS

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