|Cargo is unloaded from ships at the Cai Lat port in HCM City. The nation's trade deficit for the first two months of the year saw a sharp plunge against the figure recorded in January, according to the General Statistics Office. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung
HA NOI (VNS)— A surge in exports has seen Viet Nam 's trade deficit drop sharply in the first two months of the year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) says.
At the end of February, the trade deficit stood at US$61 million, much lower than the $361 million recorded in January, it said.
Le Thi Minh Thuy, head of GSO's commerce department, said that with the long Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday falling in February, enterprises had rushed to fulfill their export contracts.
This saw the export value soar to $9.6 billion, $300 million higher than February imports, she said.
This difference accounted for the fall in trade deficit for the first two months compared to just January, she added.
In the first two months, a year-on-year increase of 8.6 per cent in export value saw it reach $23.66 billion, against a corresponding surge of 23.4 per cent in import value pushed it to $23.05 billion.
During the two months, foreign investment enterprises were the major exporters with a total export value of $16 billion, 12.4 per cent higher than the same period last year. Meanwhile, domestic enterprises gained $7 billion, a slight surge of 0.7 per cent.
The products of the FDI enterprises that earned large export values included electronics, computers and their components ($2.12 billion, up 57.1 per cent); telephones and components ($4 billion, up 15.3 per cent); other kinds of machines and equipment ($1.11 billion, up 19.2 per cent); and textile and garments ($3.41 billion, up 17.7 per cent).
Several export products of domestic enterprises did not grow in export value, including crude oil with an export value of $604 million, down 40.9 per cent; rice with $237 million, down 35.6 per cent; seafood with $875 million, down 12.6 per cent; and coffee with $511 million, down 16.4 per cent; as well as rubber with $202 million, down 6.3 per cent.
Viet Nam mainly imported goods for producing and assembling products for export. These imports were electronic products, computers and their components with a total import value of $3.27 billion, up 31.9 per cent; telephones and components with $1.51 billion, up 26.2 per cent; cloth with $1.28 billion, up 12.6 per cent; and steel with $1.69 billion, up 15.6 per cent.
Meanwhile, the value of petrol and oil imports fell 52.2 per cent to reach $621 million.
China was still the largest import market of Viet Nam, compared with other import markets such as the Association of South-East Asian Nations, South Korea, Japan and the European Union, besides the United States. — VNS