Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of US$2.8 billion in the first 11 months of 2017, mainly contributed by the foreign-invested sector, according to a General Department of Customs report.
In the reviewed period, the country exported goods worth $193.8 billion, surging 21.1 per cent year-on-year. Of the sum, $140.7 billion came from the foreign-invested sector, up 22.8 per cent, while export turnover of the domestic sector witnessed a yearly rise of 16.8 per cent to reach only $53.1 billion.
Phones and various devices continued to take the lead among the key export commodities with a value of $41.3 billion in the first 11 months, 30.6 per cent higher than last year’s corresponding period. It was followed by computers and electronics and components with $23.6 billion, up 38.1 per cent, and footwear with $13 billion, up 11.6 per cent.
Other staples with positive export turnover included machinery, equipment and parts with $11.5 billion, up 27 per cent; seafood with $7.6 billion, up 18.7 per cent; wood and wooden goods with $6.9 billion, up 10.5 per cent; and fruits and vegetables with $3.2 billion, up 43.1 per cent.
According to the department, the US retained its position as the leading consumer of Vietnamese goods with a value of $38.1 billion. The EU came next with $35 billion, while China and ASEAN countries ranked third and fourth with $30.3 billion and $19.8 billion, respectively. Japan and the Republic of Korea were also among the largest export markets for Vietnam with values of $15.2 billion and $13.6 billion, respectively.
Meanwhile, the nation spent $191 billion on imports in 11 months, up 21 per cent year-on-year, with $114.5 billion contributed by the foreign-invested sector, up 23.2 per cent, and the remainder of $76.5 billion coming from the domestic sector, up 17.9 per cent.
Among major import products, computers and electronic devices and components posted the largest import turnover of $34 billion, 34 per cent higher than the same period last year. Machinery, equipment and parts came second at $30.7 billion, up 20.7 per cent, while phones and various devices, and cloth were the runners-up with $14.4 billion, up 50.2 per cent, and $10.3 billion, up 8 per cent, respectively.
Other items were steel and iron with a value of $8.3 billion, surging 14.3 per cent year-on-year; petroleum ($6.3 billion, up 39.3 per cent); chemical ($3.7 billion, up 27 per cent); and cotton ($2.2 billion, up 44.6 per cent).
From January to November, China remained the largest goods supplier of Vietnam with its exports worth $52.1 billion, following by South Korea, ASEAN, Japan, the EU and the US. GSO statisticians, however, said the Republic of Korea overshot China to become the country with which Vietnam recorded the highest trade deficit in the 11-month period with South Korea’s exports at $28.8 billion, marking a yearly rise of 54.8 per cent. Trade deficit with China slumped 14.3 per cent year-on-year to $21.8 billion.