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Nation's trade deficit widens to $1.9b in first five months

Update: May, 25/2013 - 09:38

HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam continued to see its trade deficit widen for the third consecutive month in May, reflecting the recovery of domestic production.

According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), the trade deficit widened to more than US$1.9 billion in the first five months of this year, growing by $722 million during a four-month period.

Le Thi Minh Thuy, director of the GSO's Trade Department, said the trade deficit had widened due to increasing imports of raw materials for domestic manufacturing sectors.

This month, import turnover reached $12 billion, a rise of 9.4 per cent over last month, while exports reached $10.8 billion, increasing by 7.6 per cent.

Import turnover during the first five months totalled $51.861 billion, 16.8 per cent higher than the same period last year. More than 55 per of import turnover came from the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector, which saw an increase of 25.4 per cent over the same period last year.

The domestic sector experienced growth in import turnover of only 7.6 per cent.

Viet Nam earned $49.938 billion from exports during the first five months, a rise of 15.1 per cent over the same period last year.

The FDI sector continued to experience a trade surplus of about $4 billion in the five months and $520 million in May alone.

The domestic sector's export turnover increased by only 2.1 per cent, reaching $17.1197 billion.

Major imports included products such as chemicals, plastics, fabric, iron and steel while mobile phones and components, electronics and computers, garment and textile products, crude oil and fruits were key export products.

However, several major agricultural exports saw declining turnover, such as seafood products (with turnover of $2.277 billion, down 2.5 per cent), coffee ($1.502 billion, down 20 per cent) and rice ($1.3 billion, down 5.3 per cent). — VNS

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