Vietnam posted a trade surplus of around US$1.7 billion in the first half of this year thanks to strong exports to major markets, including the U.S., the European Union and the Middle East, according to the General Department of Customs.
Last month, imports hit US$14.7 billion with foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises contributing US$8.3 billion. Meanwhile, exports inched up 2.5% to US$14.7 billion compared to May, with the FDI sector accounting for US$10.2 billion.
Overall, the country shipped abroad US$82.1 billion worth of goods in the year to June and spent US$80.4 billion on imports.
Machinery topped the list of imported products with a combined value of US$13.1 billion, followed by computers, electronics and parts with US$12 billion. Items with an import value of less than US$5 billion include plastics and raw materials, iron and steel, and animal feed and animal feed ingredients.
Of 19 export products worth over US$1 billion, phones and parts took the lead with US$16.9 billion, followed by apparel with US$10.8 billion. Seafood, furniture, vegetables, coffee, cashew nuts, rice, suitcases and handbags came next.
In the six-month period, Vietnam recorded a trade surplus above the US$1 billion mark with six markets, including the U.S. with US$14.1 billion, the United Arab Emirates US$2.5 billion, Germany US$1.6 billion, the Netherlands US$2.3 billion, Hong Kong US$2.2 billion and the United Kingdom (UK) US$1.9 billion.
The country, on the other hand, had trade deficits with five countries, including China with US$14 billion, South Korea US$5.1 billion, Malaysia US$1.04 billion, Singapore US$1.5 billion and Thailand US$2.1 billion.
China remained Vietnam’s largest source of imports, with a value of US$23.1 billion, accounting for nearly 30% of all imports. Among key products imported from the northern neighbor, iron and steel contributed US$2.1 billion. Other imported products worth over US$1 billion included electronic devices and fabrics and materials for apparel production.
Then the January-June period saw Vietnam’s trade deficit with China shrinking by US$2.3 billion year-on-year to US$14 billion. However, that was still the largest single-country trade deficit for Vietnam.
Apart from China, imports from South Korea reached US$14.7 billion with three product categories posting over US$1 billion in revenue: computers, phones, devices; machinery; and equipment and parts.
Photo: CBR Investment AG