Vietnam trade deficit returns on lift in domestic import demand

By Viet Nam News | Source: ANN
Imports exceeded exports in March by US$300 million, marking the return of the trade deficit in Vietnam after the country experienced a trade surplus in the first two months of this year and in 2012.

The country exported $11 billion worth of goods in March and imported $11.3 million in the same period, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO)

Head of the GSO’s trade department Le Thi Minh Thuy attributed the trade deficit to the increased import demands of domestic businesses, while the export value of some key products had declined.

However, she said the trade balance in the first three months remained positive with exports exceeding imports, at $29.687 billion and $29.206 billion, respectively.

Most of the trade surplus in the first three months came from the foreign direct invested sectors, with export value at US$19.256 billion and import value reaching $16.140 billion, up 25.6 per cent and 25.5 per cent.

The domestic sector’s export value hit $10.431 billion in the same period, and import value reached $13.066 billion.

Exports during the first three months of this year mainly consisted of electrical products and components which reached $7.2 billion, of which mobile phones accounted for $4.5 billion.

The GSO said some key products posted falls in export value during the period, including seafood ($1.26 billion, down 2.3 per cent), coffee ($1.92 billion, down 1.5 per cent) and rubber ($522 million, down 16.7 per cent).

Items that posted high import value during the period included garments and textiles ($3.8 billion, up 18.5 per cent), footwear ($1.7 billion, up 14.7 per cent), crude oil ($1.8 billion, up 13.1 per cent)

The country posted an annual trade surplus in 2012 for the first time in two decades after three years of narrowing deficits, as the slowest economic growth in 13 years curbed import demand.