HA NOI — The country was estimated to face a trade deficit of US$150 million in March, lifting the total figure in the first quarter to $250.9 million, the General Statistics Office (GSO) reported.
|Furniture is made at Hoan Vu Co Ltd in the central province of Quang Ngai. Viet Nam is targeting a trade deficit of no more than US$13 billion this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Long
The trade deficit in the first three months was equal to 1.02 per cent of the country's export revenue in the period.
Le Thien Minh Thuy, director of the GSO's trade department, said the deficit was relatively low thanks to export growth rates that remained high during the quarter.
The GSO revealed that with March's export turnover of $9.15 billion, the country's total export value in the first quarter increased 23.6 per cent over the same period last year to $24.5 billion.
Excluding crude oil, garments and textiles as well as seafood and coffee remained the country's key export staples in the January-March period. Textiles and garments made up $3.23 billion of the nation's total export earnings, up 15.4 per cent over the same period last year. The export value of seafood also surged 11.7 per cent to $1.26 billion. Despite a decrease of 11.8 per cent, coffee exports still earned $1.06 billion.
The country, meanwhile, spent $9.3 billion for imports in March, up 8.1 per cent over the previous month. March's result raised the first quarter's import value to $24.77 billion, up 6.9 per cent year-on-year.
Main imported products in the period included petroleum products at $2.02 billion, down 19.7 per cent on year; clothes at $1.3 billion, down 11.1 per cent; plastics at $1.09 billion, up 0.1 per cent; iron and steel at $1.45 billion, up 7.7 per cent; and electronic products-computers-spare parts at $2.66 billion, up 103.4 per cent.
Thuy noted that a lower trade deficit, due to the decline of imported materials and used for the production of both domestic goods and export products, would create disadvantages for export as well as general economic growth in the coming months.
The country targets to keep its trade deficit at roughly $13 billion this year, or at 12 per cent of total export revenue. The nation's trade deficit last year stood at $9.5 billion. — VNS