Vietnam records US$1.35bil trade deficit in first half of June

The Đình Vũ Port in the northern port city of Hải Phòng. — VNA/VNS

HANOI (Vietnam News/ANN): Vietnam reported a trade deficit of US$1.35 billion in the first half of June as exports reached only $12.3 billion – down nearly $2 billion compared to the latter half of May, the General Department of Customs has announced.

Among items posting the strongest turnover decline included computers, electronics and parts with $1.06 billion, down $800 million; machinery and equipment with $1.1 billion, down $260 million and telephones and components with $1.96 billion, down $50 million.

Since the beginning of this year to mid-June, the nation’s trade value surpassed $288.6 billion.

Of the sum, over $143.3 billion came from exports, up 30 per cent year-on-year while the remainder of $145.3 billion was from imports, up 36 per cent. That resulted in a trade deficit of $1.96 billion, the department said.

According to trade experts, the above-mentioned trade deficit was not a worrisome figure as enterprises ramped up their imports of input materials to meet their production demands.

Deputy head of the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) Trần Thanh Hải agreed. He said at the MoIT’s regular press meeting for the second quarter in Hanoi last week that the import of production materials currently accounted for a high proportion, especially in garment and footwear sectors, thus pushing up the import value, affecting the trade balance.

The Covid-19 resurgence in late April had certain impacts on many production industries which had started to recover such as electronics and mobile phones.

However, exporting enterprises which already had orders still had to import raw materials and accessories for production. Thus, an import increase should be considered a good sign rather than a cause for concern, Hải said.

According to the MoIT, exports are set to increase by about 21.7 per cent by year-end compared to the year’s respective targets of 4-5 per cent.

To this end, the ministry would continue to give priority to promoting trade connections between Vietnamese enterprises and foreign partners, and the introduction of made-in-Vietnam goods to domestic and international consumers.

Particularly, it would continue working to promote overseas shipments, diversify both export and import markets, optimise opportunities generated by free trade agreements, and remove barriers to enter new markets.

Last year, the country’s trade surplus hit a record high of $9.9 billion, the highest level seen in the past four years. — Vietnam News/Asia News Network

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