New Trade Surplus Record Set

10:53:34 AM | 9/12/2019

Vietnam’s trade surplus hit a new record high, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO).

Vietnam's exports reached over US$241 billion in the past 11 months of 2019, up 7.8% from a year ago, while its imports rose 7.4% year on year to US$232.31 billion in the reported period. The trade surplus totaled over US$9.1 billion from January to November. The country fulfilled 91.8% of import-export plans set earlier this year.

With that outcome, 2019 is expected to be the fourth consecutive year of trade surplus. Vietnam's import and export activities will accomplish the set goal of expanding by 7-8% from 2018 and reining in the trade deficit at below 3% of total export value.

Besides, its export scale has kept expanding. By the end of November 2019, up to 32 commodities brought home the export value of over US$1 billion each (with eight fetching over US$5 billion and five taking over US$10 billion). Leading exports continued to be telephones and components (US$48.73 billion), textiles and garments (US$29.89 billion), computers, electronic products and components (US$32.4 billion), machinery, equipment, tools and parts (US$16.47 billion), and footwear (US$16.49 billion).

By market, the Americas led the growth, rising 27.9% year on year to US$55.6 billion, followed by shipments to the European Union (EU), which sank 2.3% to US$38 billion and to China down 0.6% to US$37.4 billion. Vietnam’s exports to ASEAN increased 2.4% to US$23.4 billion, Japan rising by 7.6% to US$18.6 billion, and to South Korea growing 10.1% to US$18.4 billion.

The domestic sector continued to lead Vietnam’s merchandise export in the first 11 months of 2019, recording growth of 18.1%, doubling the overall growth rate and nearly five times that of the foreign direct investment (FDI) sector (3.8%). As a result, the share of the domestic economic sector continued to increase, accounting for 30.95% of total exports versus 29.16% in the same period last year.

In November, Vietnam was estimated to spend US$22.5 billion on imports, 0.6% higher than the previous month and 4.5% higher than the same period of 2018. From January to November, 35 imports took at least US$1 billion, accounting for 90% of total import value, with two items topping US$20 billion, accounting for 34.7%.

By structure, production inputs were projected at US$212.1 billion, up 7% year on year and equal to 91.3% of total imports. Consumer goods were forecast at US$20.2 billion, up 11.6% and accounting for 8.7%.

China remained Vietnam's largest import source that took US$68.7 billion, up 15.2% year on year, followed by South Korea (US$43.6 billion, little changed from a year earlier), ASEAN (US$29.6 billion, up 1.7%), Japan (US$18.1 billion, up 3.5%), the European Union (US$13.4 billion, up 6.1%) and the United States (US$13 billion, up 11.3%.)

Nguyen Thanh (Vietnam Business Forum Magazine)