Exports help push up trade surplus in first quarter

Tuesday, Apr 02, 2019 08:55

A worker checks electronic components at the factory of TPR Vietnam Co Ltd in the VSIP II Industrial Park in the southern province of Binh Duong. Viet Nam’s January-March exports totalled more than $58.5 billion, up 4.7 per cent. — VNA/VNS Photo Hai Au

Improved exports in March helped Viet Nam gain a trade surplus of US$536 million in the first quarter after running deficits in the first two months, the latest update from the General Statistics Office (GSO) revealed.

Statistics showed that exports reached $22.4 billion in March, representing a rise of 61.1 per cent over the previous month.

This helped Viet Nam return to a trade surplus after running a deficit of $800 million in January and $84 million in February.

Still, the surplus of $536 million was much lower than the $2.8 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2018.

The domestic sector reported a trade deficit of $7.04 billion in the period, while foreign-invested firms posted a trade surplus of $7.57 billion.

January-March exports totalled more than $58.5 billion, up 4.7 per cent. Exports from the foreign investment sector (including crude oil) were worth $41.5 billion, contributing nearly 71 per cent of the country’s total export value.

The quarter saw nine products with export value of more than $1 billion which altogether accounted for 70.8 per cent of total export value.

Exports of garments and textiles were estimated at $7.3 billion (up 7.3 per cent), electronics, computers and parts $6.9 billion (up 9.3 per cent), footwear products $4 billion (up 15.3 per cent), equipment and parts $3.9 per cent (up 5.2 per cent) and wood products $2.3 billion (up 17 per cent).

Phone and components posted the highest export value, worth $12.1 billion, but dropping by 4.3 per cent over the same period last year.

Seafood exports decreased by 1.4 per cent to $1.4 billion while other major agricultural products also saws declines, such as fruit and vegetables (down 8.6 per cent to $885 million), coffee (23.8 per cent to $830 million), cashews (17.2 per cent to $625 million) and rice (23.6 per cent to $567 million).

The US remained Vietnam’s biggest export market, spending $13 billion, up by 26 per cent, followed by the European Union with $10.2 billion, up by 2.5 per cent, and China with $7.6 billion, down 7.4 per cent.

Viet Nam spent $57.98 billion on importing goods in the first quarter, up 8.9 per cent.

Major import products were mainly equipment and materials for production, including electronic products, computers and components (worth $11.7 billion, up 12.2 per cent), equipment ($8.7 billion, up 15.1 per cent) and fabric ($2.8 billion, up 6.4 per cent).

China remained the largest import market during January-March with a value of $15 billion, an increase of 9.7 per cent. The Republic of Korea came in second place by exporting $11.8 billion worth of goods to Viet Nam, up 1.1 per cent year-on-year, followed by ASEAN with $8.2 billion, up 10.1 per cent.

The GSO’s general director Nguyen Bich Lam said it was necessary to strengthen exports, enhance trade promotion and expand markets, especially for exports of agricultural products.

In addition, focus must be placed on controlling the quality of goods and imported equipment together with developing appropriate technical barriers to protect and encourage domestic production, Lam said. — VNS


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