Shipping barges at Hải Phòng Port. The country exported $78.8 billion worth of goods in the first four months of 2019, up 6 per cent year on year. Photo vietship.net
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam recorded a trade surplus of US$771 million in the first four months of this year, much lower than the $3.7 billion surplus seen in the same period last year, the General Statistics Office (GSO) has said in a monthly report.
According to GSO statisticians, the period’s trade surplus would be higher if not for the $700 million trade deficit recorded in April due to several public holidays that narrowed the country's export growth compared to one month earlier.
Domestic enterprises reported a trade deficit of $9.5 billion in the four-month period, while foreign-invested firms witnessed a positive balance of more than $10 billion.
From January to April, the country's trade turnover reached $157 billion, up 8 per cent year on year. Its export value amounted to $78.8 billion, up 6 per cent, while imports totalled $78 billion, up 10.4 per cent.
Eight export staples posted a turnover of more than $2 billion in the four month period, making up 68 per cent of the nation’s total export value. Among them, telephones and components took the lead with $16.4 billion, accounting for 20 per cent of total exports in spite of a modest value decrease of 0.2 per cent compared to last year’s corresponding period.
Other items with positive export values included computers, equipment and parts with $9.6 billion, up 13 per cent; textiles and garments with $9.4 billion, up 10 per cent; footwear with $5.3 billion, up 14 per cent; wood and wooden products with $3.1 billion, up 18 per cent and means of transport and parts with $2.9 billion, up 6 per cent.
The US remained Việt Nam's biggest export market, spending nearly $18 billion on Vietnamese goods, up 28 per cent year on year. It was followed by the EU ($14 billion), China ($10.4 billion), South Korea ($6.2 billion) and Japan ($6.1 billion).
Meanwhile, China continued to be Việt Nam's largest import market with turnover of $22.3 billion, marking a yearly rise of 19 per cent. South Korea ranked second as it exported $16 billion worth of goods to Việt Nam, up 3 per cent, followed by ASEAN countries ($11 billion), Japan ($5.7 billion), the EU ($4.6 billion) and the US ($4.2 billion).
GSO statisticians noted that Việt Nam saw an increase of 54 per cent in its trade deficit with China in the period as a series of products exported to the market experienced sharp turnover declines of between 20 per cent and 90 per cent like telephones and parts, computers and components, rice and seafood.
Meanwhile, the turnover of items that Việt Nam imported from its northern neighbour rose significantly like computers and parts, up 81 per cent, machinery, equipment and parts (29 per cent) and cloth (14 per cent). Việt Nam spent nearly $3 billion importing the three groups of products, statisticians said. VNS