Vietnam ran a trade surplus of 2 8 billion USD in the first quarter of this year higher than 1 5 billion USD recorded in the same period last year despite the growing COVID 19 pandemic in the country major export markets.
The domestic sector posted a trade deficit of US$4.4 billion while the foreign direct investment sector, including crude oil, recorded a trade surplus of US$7.2 billion.
Accordingly, the export revenue of goods in the first quarter was estimated at US$59.08 billion, up 0.5% year-on-year. Eight groups of commodities saw export turnover surpassing the US$1 billion benchmark, accounting for 70.6% of the total.
The US remained Vietnam’s largest importer with a total value of US$15.5 billion, up 16.2% annually. It was followed by China with US$8.4 billion, up 11.5%; the European Union US$7.5 billion, down 14.9%; ASEAN US$6 billion, down 5.2%; Japan US$4.8 billion, up 3.5%; and the Republic of Korea (RoK) US$4.5 billion, down 2.7%.
Meanwhile, the country’s goods imports decreased by 1.9% to US$56.26 billion. Up to 14 kinds of goods spent more than US$1 billion each, or 72.9% of the total.
Production materials were bought for an estimated US$52.6 billion, down 1.2% annually and equivalent to 93.5% of the combined. Expenditure on consumer goods stood at US$3.66 billion, down 10.6%, accounting for 6.5% of the total.
China remained the largest exporter of commodities to Vietnam with a turnover of US$13.3 billion, down 18% year-on-year. It was followed by the RoK with US$11.7 billion, up 2.4%; ASEAN US$7.2 billion, down 8.3%; Japan US$4.9 billion, up 15.8%; the EU US$3.4 billion, up 5.2% and the US US$3.4 billion, up 13%.
The GSO predicted that once the EU – Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) takes effect, Vietnam’s exports to the EU will soar by over 20 percent this year and the growth will be on the rise in the following years. Aquatic products are expected to benefit most from the deal.
The EU is now the second largest importer of Vietnamese aquatic products, behind the US.
Vietnam’s shipment of farm produce to the EU is also forecast to hike by around 10% this year.