Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of 5.39 billion USD in the first nine months of 2018, the General Statistics Office (GSO) said in a monthly report.
The foreign-invested sector enjoyed a trade surplus of 23.65 billion USD, but growth fell to 15 percent year-on-year compared to 23 percent growth in the first quarter due to difficulties finding export markets, the report noted.
The domestic sector reported a trade deficit of 18.26 billion USD in the period, but its exports experienced an encouraging increase of 17.5 percent year-on-year to 51.07 billion USD, higher than 15 percent jump posted in the first quarter.
The domestic sector’s positive export performance had contributed to a yearly rise of 15.4 percent in the country’s nine-month export turnover of over 178.9 billion USD, nearly double the growth target set for the whole year by the National Assembly, GSO Director Nguyen Bich Lam said.
According to the report, 26 export commodities brought in more than 1 billion USD in export value from January to September, making up 90.3 percent of the country’s total export revenue.
Five of them grossed a revenue of more than 10 billion USD, accounting for 58.2 percent of the total export value, including phones and accessories with 36.1 billion USD, up 15 percent; textiles and garments (22.6 billion USD, up 17.1 percent); electronic products, computers and components (21.6 billion USD, up 17 percent); machinery, equipment and parts (12.1 billion USD, up 29 percent); and footwear (11.8 billion USD, up 11 percent).
However, crude oil exports witnessed sharp declines in both value and volume compared to the same period of last year, standing at 1.7 billion USD, down 25 percent in value despite an average increase of 38 percent in global crude oil prices.
In the January – September period, the US remained Vietnam’s biggest export market, spending 34.9 billion USD on Vietnamese goods, up 13 percent year-on-year, followed by the EU (31.1 billion USD, up 10 percent) and China (28.1 billion USD, up 27 percent).
The country’s import value of commodities in the period saw a modest surge of 12 percent to 173.52 billion USD. Of the sum, the foreign-invested sector contributed 104.2 billion USD, up 12 percent, while the domestic sector made up 69.34 billion USD, up 11.7 percent.
Key import items included electronics, computers and components, equipment and machinery, telephones and components, fabric, iron, steel, plastics, oil and gas, metal, footwear, chemicals, and garment and textile materials.
China remained Vietnam’s largest import market during the period with turnover of 47.1 billion USD, a 12.5 percent climb year-on-year. The Republic of Korea came next by exporting 35 billion USD worth of goods to Vietnam, a rise of 1.4 percent year-on-year, while ASEAN countries ranked third with 23.2 billion USD, up 13 percent.
Source: VNS / GSO