Việt Nam posts trade surplus of $6.35 billion in the first four months of the year

May 05, 2023 - 09:48
The US remained the largest importer of Vietnamese goods, net importing around $24.4 billion in the period.
Workers smooth processed wood in a facility in Quảng Trị Province. Exports in the processing industry reached $96.1 billion in the first four months of 2023. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồ Cầu

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam was commercially riding high in the first four months of 2023 with a trade surplus of US$6.35 billion, according to the General Statistics Office.

The figure was far higher than that in the same period of last year ($2.35 billion). It is worth noting that April alone contributed about $1.51 billion of the commercial feat.

Twenty Vietnamese exports saw their individual commercial revenues exceed $1 billion. Among those, five stood out with commercial revenues of over $5 billion each.

Their combined revenues accounted for 57.4 per cent of the country's aggregate revenues. Exports in the processing industry continued to take the lion's share with 88.5 per cent ($96.1 billion).

The US remained the largest importer of Vietnamese goods, net importing around $24.4 billion in the four months. The EU came next with $9.3 billion, and Japan with $367 million.

China, meanwhile, was the largest exporter to Việt Nam, net exporting $16.8 billion in the same period, followed by South Korea with $8.9 billion and ASEAN with $2.3 billion.

A representative from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) remarked that China is not only Việt Nam's largest trade partner but also the second-largest importer of Vietnamese goods.

As China has lifted its COVID-19 measures and gradually resumed its trade activities, the representative has an optimistic outlook on bilateral trade in the short term.

"Vietnamese exports to China still have ample room for growth down the road. Orders from China are expected to rise steadily in the next few quarters," said the representative.

But the good news goes only so far. Despite the high trade surplus, the country realised around $210 billion of total trade from January to April this year, down 13.6 per cent year-on-year.

The MOIT representative attributed the decline in trade to a combination of internal and external factors.

Internally, the aggregate demand is gathering steam but is not strong enough to bring domestic production back to normal. The slowdown has caused a negative impact on commercial activities.

Externally, high global fuel prices have added to production costs, pushing up inflation. Rising price indexes, coupled with the slow recovery of the global economy and the collapse of several big banks in the world, have pushed consumers into cutting back on imports.

The representative also said it would be a tall order for firms in the processing industry to keep their commercial momentum going as their capital absorption has begun to fall amid rising costs and falling orders.

Việt Nam's total trade hit $27.54 billion in April, down 7.3 per cent compared to March. In the first four months of 2023, the Vietnamese-owned sector net imported $8.04 billion, whereas the foreign-invested sector net exported $14.39 billion. — VNS