Việt Nam runs a trade deficit of $300m in January

January 31, 2018 - 09:00

Việt Nam ran a trade deficit of US$300 million in January due to soaring imports.

Containers at Hải Phòng Port. Việt Nam ran a trade deficit of US$300 million in January. - Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam ran a trade deficit of US$300 million in January due to soaring imports.

The deficit was attributed to Tết (Lunar New Year) being around the corner, pushing up demand, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

The trade deficit in January ended the string of trade surpluses in the last three consecutive months of 2017.

The country imported $19.3 billion worth of goods in the first month of 2018, a whopping rise of 47.4 per cent over the same period last year.

However, compared to the previous month, the import value dropped by 3 per cent.

Import of the domestic sector was worth $7.8 billion and $11.5 was of the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector.

The export value also increased significantly in January, by 33.1 per cent over the same month last year, to reach $19 billion. This figure, however, was 3.3 per cent lower than the export turnover of December 2017.

The domestic sector ran a trade deficit of $2.4 billion, while the FDI sector posed a trade surplus of $2.1 billion. 

GSO said that January saw a strong increase in imports and exports, compared to the same month last year, as the 2017 Tết holiday was in January.

This year, the Tết holiday is in February, thus, the imports and exports in February were expected to see significant changes, compared to February 2017, GSO said.

Exports of major products increased in January, such as phones and components (worth 4.2 billion, up by 80.7 per cent), garments and textiles (worth $2.3 billion, up 7.6 per cent), electronics, computers and components (worth $2.2 billion, up 37.9 per cent), and footwear products (worth $1.3 billion, up 11.5 per cent).

China surpassed the US to become the largest export market of Việt Nam with revenue of $4.5 billion in January, 2.5 times higher than the same month in 2017.

Exports to the US totalled $3.5 billion, up by 17 per cent; EU markets $3 billion, up by 6.6 per cent; ASEAN markets $1.7 billion, up by 15.7 per cent; Japan $1.5 billion, up by 18.6 per cent, and South Korea $1.3 billion, up by 28 per cent.

Việt Nam mainly imported phones and parts worth $1.8 billion, up by 115 per cent; electronics, computers and parts worth $3.75 billion, up by 72.3 per cent; and machinery and equipment worth $2.8 billion, up by 25.4 per cent.

Notably, the import of automobiles dropped significantly in January, with a revenue of $304 million, a decrease by 17.9 per cent.

Agro-forestry-fishery exports up by 26 per cent

Statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development revealed that agro-forestry-fishery exports in January touched $3.09 billion, representing a rise of 25.9 per cent over the same period last year.

Exports of agricultural products were estimated to increase by 34.1 per cent to $1.68 billion, fishery products by 15.6 per cent to $560 million and forestry products by 18.5 per cent to $745 million.

Rice exports saw a whopping rise in both volume and value in January with 524,000 tonnes shipped, worth $249 million, increasing by 56.5 per cent and 74.2 per cent, respectively.

Fruits and vegetables saw positive growth in export with a revenue of $321 million in January, up by nearly 37 per cent.

Pepper, despite a rise in export volume by 59 per cent to 13,000 tonnes, saw a decline in value by 9 per cent to $56 million.

The ministry said Việt Nam imported $2.78 billion worth of agro-forestry-fishery products in January, up by 48.1 per cent against January 2017. — VNS