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Vietnam trade surplus narrows to US$1.9 billion in Jan-May
Ngoc Thuy 08:06, 2020/06/01
Vietnam's trade turnover is likely to have reached US$196.84 billion in the first five months, down 2.8% year-on-year.

Vietnam reported an estimated trade deficit of US$900 million in May, causing its the trade surplus to narrow to US$1.9 billion in the January – May period, the General Statistics Office (GSO) has said in a monthly report.

 Data: GSO. Chart: Ngoc Thuy. 

On breaking down, the domestic sector is estimated to post a trade deficit of US$8.6 billion in the five-month period while foreign-invested firms recorded a trade surplus of US$10.5 billion.

Domestic companies' exports are estimated to have expanded 10.4% year-on-year to US$33.3 billion during the period, accounting for 33.5% of the country's exports. Meanwhile, FDI firms reaped US$66.06 billion from overseas shipments, down 6.9% and accounting for 66.5% of the total.

In May, Vietnam exported goods worth an estimated US$18.5 billion, up 5.2% inter-monthly, while imports are estimated to have increased by 4.7% to US$19.4 billion.

The complicated progression of the Covid-19 pandemic in Vietnam’s major markets continued to exert negative impacts on the country’s trading activities, noted the GSO.

 Data: GSO. Chart: Ngoc Thuy. 

Overall, Vietnam's trade turnover is likely to have slipped 2.8% year-on-year to reach US$196.84 billion in the January – May period, of which its export value could amount to US$99.36 billion, down 1.7% year-on-year, and imports are estimated at US$97.48 billion, down 3.8%.

Among Vietnam’s key export staples, phones and parts are predicted to earn the largest export turnover during the January-May period at US$18 billion, down 8.8% year-on-year and accounting for 18.11% of Vietnam’s total exports.

In addition, electronic products, computers and components earned an estimated US$15.3 billion, up 22.1% year-on-year; garments (US$10.4 billion and -14.5%); equipment and parts (US$8.5 billion and +25%); footwear (US$6.8 billion and -4.8%); wood and wooden products (US$4 billion, unchanged from the value recorded in the same period last year); transportation vehicles (US$3.1 billion and -12.2%); fishery (US$2.8 billion and-10.3%), among others.

In the January – May period, the US remained Vietnam's biggest export market, spending US$24.6 billion on Vietnamese goods, up 8.2% year-on-year, followed by China (US$16.3 billion, up 20.1%), and the EU (US$12.9 billion, down 12%). 

Meanwhile, China continued to be Vietnam's largest supplier, selling US$28.9 billion worth of goods to Vietnam, down 3% year-on-year. 

South Korea claimed the second place by exporting US$17.3 billion worth of goods to Vietnam, down 9.5% year-on-year, followed by ASEAN countries with US$11.8 billion, down 14.1%. 

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