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Vietnam sees $1B in trade deficit in first half of January

Vietnam sees $1B in trade deficit in first half of January

Vietnam had a trade deficit of about $1 billion in the first 15 days of this year, according to the General Department of Customs.

The total value of the whole country’s exports reached $9.2 billion, marking a slight decrease of $71 million compared to the same period last year. Meanwhile the total import value reached nearly $10.2 billion, an increase of $646 million.

The nation’s trade deficit in the period, after recording a trade surplus of nearly $6.8 billion in 2018, was likely due to the import activity leading up to the Lunar New Year. The holiday causes reduced production and exports coupled with a rise in imports to meet domestic demand.

At least $1B

During the first 15 days of the year, three goods categories recorded an export value of at least $1 billion, including textiles and garments, telephones and computers and electronic products.

The number of export goods did not increase compared to the same period last year, and telephones saw a significant reduction in export value, according to the department.

Export value of those products reached $1.3 billion in the first 15 days of this year while it was more than $2.1 billion in the same period of last year. This change contributed to the drop in the nation’s total export value.

In addition, computers, electronic products and components also had a slight decrease in export value to nearly $50 million.

Meanwhile, only the textile and garment group achieved export value growth, increasing 13 per cent year-on-year to $1.3 billion.

Large gains in exports

Last year, Vietnam achieved a total trade value of $480.2 billion, a year-on-year increase of 12.2 per cent. Of that number, export value was $243.5 billion, up by 13.2 per cent, and import value reached $236.7 billion, up by 11.1 per cent. The trade surplus stood at $6.8 billion.

The three aforementioned goods categories made the largest gains in export value last year.

Telephones and components continued to have the largest export value at $49.1 billion last year, an increase of 8.4 per cent compared to 2017. China was the largest export market for those products with an export value of $9.38 billion, up 31.1 per cent year-on-year. The US market was next with a value of $5.4 billion, a year-on-year surge of 46.1 per cent.

Textile and garment exports ranked second at $30.49 billion, up 16.7 per cent. Largest export markets for Vietnamese textiles and garments included the US, the EU, Japan, South Korea and China.

Computer and electronic products had the third largest export value last year at $29.32 billion. VIET NAM NEWS

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