Trade surplus $683m despite April deficit

Update: May, 06/2014 - 09:11
During the month, the industrial goods sector sustained a growth of nearly 19 per cent, lower than 23 per cent recorded in the past three months. — Photo vinacorp

HA NOI  (VNS) — Viet Nam posted a trade surplus of US$683 million in the first four months of the year, said Nguyen Tien Vy, head of the Planning Department, in the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT).

Speaking at a press conference in Ha Noi yesterday, Vy said, in April alone, the country fetched $12.2 billion from overseas shipments, down 0.6 per cent from a month earlier. Of the figure, an estimated $7.5 billion was earned by foreign-invested firms, dropping 0.1 per cent year-on-year. This generated a trade deficit of $400 million.

During the month, the industrial goods sector sustained a growth of nearly 19 per cent, lower than 23 per cent recorded in the past three months.

In the four months, farm produce, including rice, saw a fall in exports due to intense competition, said Phan Thi Dieu Ha, Deputy Director of the Export-Import Department.

Ha said that over 1.7 million tonnes of rice brought home $765 million, down 18.2 per cent in volume and around 17 per cent in value.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Le Duong Quang directed the ministry's departments and agencies to clear business bottlenecks, particularly in capital access, administrative procedures and market entry to reach the goal of $132 billion from this year's exports.

Sufficient power

Figures from the ministry showed that electricity output last month was estimated at 11.42 billion kWh, increasing 13 per cent over last April. In the first four months of the year, electricity output would reach 41.94 billion kWh, posting 10 per cent year-on-year increase.

Pham Manh Thang, Director of the ministry's General Department of Energy said power generation would be 30,000MW, making a surplus of 10,000MW.

There would be enough power supply for the country in the peak months of the upcoming dry season, Thang assured.

He estimated that power capacity this month would be 12 billion kWh, posting 5.6 per cent increase over the previous month.

Duong Quang Thanh, Deputy General Director of the Electricity of Viet Nam said the group is preparing to ensure power for the season.

Thanh said the Pleiku-My Phuoc – Cau Bong 550kV transmission line which was integrated into the national power grid yesterday would ease the power shortage for the southern cities and provinces in the upcoming time.

The 437.5 km long line run by the Viet Nam National Power Transmission Corporation passes through five provinces including Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Dak Nong in the Central Highlands, and Binh Phuoc and Binh Duong in the south.

The VND9.2 trillion ($432.4 million) project was funded by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the German Reconstruction Bank, along with the Viet Nam Bank of Industry and Trade, and the Viet Nam Development Bank.

The line has linked the power system of the south-eastern and south-western regions, ensuring a safe and smooth network that is ready to cope with the exchange of power among regions in the country.

As many as 4,787 households along the project site have been relocated. — VNS