HA NOI — The country's exports in the first eight months of the year surged 17.8 per cent year-on-year to US$73.35 billion, while imports reached $73.41 billion, up 6.7 per cent, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).
In August alone, the country earned $9.8 billion from exports, down 3.8 per cent from the July figure, with a trade deficit of $150 million after enjoying a trade surplus for the past two consecutive months.
Director of the GSO's Trade Department Le Thi Minh Thuy attributed the relatively positive trade balance to a decrease in imports.
She said after recording a 11.8 per cent increase in February, the rising rate of imports from March to August had slowed to around 6 per cent. Exports, meanwhile, rose 17.8 per cent and 19 per cent in July and August after hitting a 22-24 per cent rise during February and June.
According to the GSO, 15 out of 28 export staples gained high growth rates, with turnover of between $1 billion and $9 billion in the first eight months. Textiles and garments were the biggest earner with $9.72 billion, up 7 per cent. Mobile phones and parts ranked second with $7.35 billion, up 134.3 per cent. Crude oil, seafood, electronic products and computers, wooden products, and coffee followed with turnover ranging from $2.46 billion to $5.54 billion each.
However, several key export staples reported a decline in both quantity and value during the period. Coal export volume, for example, decreased 23.8 per cent to 8.74 million tonnes, and value was down 30.2 per cent at $769 million. Rice also fell 9.1 per cent to $2.46 billion in value.
Of the total export turnover in the first eight months, foreign-invested firms accounted for $45.63 billion, up 34.1 per cent, while State-owned enterprises reported a decrease of 1.85 per cent at $27.71 billion. — VNS