The General Statistics Office predicted Vietnam obtained export revenue of US$13 billion in February but spent US$14.2 billion on imports, resulting in a trade deficit of US$1.2 billion.
The deficit, according to the office, was due to a significant increase in imports to serve domestic production which normally surges after the Lunar New Year holiday.
Domestic companies were responsible for a deficit of US$2.12 billion in February while the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector generated a trade surplus of US$925 million.
According to the statistics office, Vietnam’s February exports were up 28.6% against last year but down 9.4% against January due to lower outbound sales of major commodities, such as apparel which contracted 30.4%, footwear which shrank by 23%, vehicles and spare parts that were down by 25%; wood and wooden products which fell by 34.3%; and seafood which edged down by 18.8%.
Imports in the month increased 39.2% compared to January, with growth of 49.6% for domestic companies and 33.1% for FDI firms, due to increasing imports of products like phones and components rising by 7.8%, steel products by 13.5%, textiles by 13.3%, and plastics by 12.9%.
The nation earned a trade surplus of US$1.15 billion in January, sending its trade deficit down to US$50 million in the first two months of this year.
Of that, domestic firms suffered a trade deficit of US$3.48 billion while FDI enterprises gained a trade surplus of US$3.43 billion.
Particularly, export revenue in the two-month period was estimated at US$27.34 billion, while imports reached US$27.38 billion.
China remained the top supplier of Vietnam with US$8 billion worth of commodities in the first two month of the year, up 23.8% year-on-year.
South Korea came second with US$5.6 billion, up 35%.
Imports from ASEAN countries reached US$3.6 billion, up 11%; from Japan at US$2 billion, down 0.2%; from the European Union US$1.7 billion, up 24.6%; and from the U.S. some US$1.4 billion, down 31.4%.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has remained Vietnam’s biggest importer with US$6 billion worth of products in the past two months, up 18.9% against last year.
The EU came next with US$5.4 billion, up 132%, China with US$3.3 billion, up 36.4%, ASEAN with US$2.9 billion, up 15.9%, Japan with US$2.3 billion, up 15.3%, and Korea with US$1.9 billion, up 31.9%.
HCMC exports rise 12% in first two months
HCMC saw its total export turnover in the first two months of 2017 reach US$4.8 billion, up 11.7% over the same period last year.
According to a report on the socio-economic conditions delivered at a meeting of the HCMC government on Monday, February’s exports increased 24.3% against January.
From the beginning of the year, exports to some countries increased sharply. Exports to Germany rose nearly 153%, Australia nearly 97%, South Korea some 45%, the U.S. 40%, and the Philippines nearly 40%.
Meanwhile, imports from some markets also increased steeply, at 130% from Italy, 62% from the U.S., over 38% from Hong Kong, and nearly 28% from Malaysia.
The city mainly imports equipment and materials for domestic production.
Photo: CBR Investment AG