09:25 | 17/07/2019 Trade
(VEN) - Vietnam achieved satisfactory export results in the first four months of 2019, maintaining export growth to major markets, albeit at a slower pace than in 2018. Overall, domestic firms performed better than foreign-invested ones.
|Textiles and garments remain key Vietnamese exports|
US$711 million trade surplus
Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) data show that in April 2019, the export value reached an estimated US$19.9 billion, down 12.6 percent compared with March. The decrease was attributed to various holidays. In the first four months, the export value grew 5.8 percent compared with the same period last year, exceeding US$78.7 billion.
Processing industry-related products continued contributing significantly to the export growth. In the first four months of 2019, the export value of these products grew 7.6 percent compared with the same period last year and accounted for 83.6 percent of Vietnam’s total export value. The list of goods with four-month export value exceeding US$1 billion consists of 16 products, 13 of which are related to processing industry.
Textiles and garments were among key export products experiencing high growth in the first four months and forecast to maintain this pace until year’s end. “Many garment companies have received orders for the first three quarters of 2019 and even the whole year. This positive signal encourages the textile and garment sector to fulfill its annual targets,” said Cao Huu Hieu, Executive Director of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex).
Exports by domestic businesses in the first four months of 2019 grew 10.5 percent compared with the same period last year, almost double the growth of Vietnam’s total export value (5.8 percent) and more than double the export growth achieved by companies with foreign direct investment (FDI) - four percent. The percentage of exports by domestic businesses in Vietnam’s total export value increased from 28.4 percent in the first four months of 2018 to 29.4 percent in the first four months of this year.
Exports to most major markets grew. For example, exports to the US - Vietnam’s largest export market, reached US$17.8 billion, up 28.4 percent. Exports to the EU reached US$13.7 billion, up 2.8 percent; to ASEAN: US$8.4 billion, up 7.3 percent; to the Republic of Korea: US$6.2 billion, up 7.3 percent; to Japan: US$6.1 billion, up 6.6 percent.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s imports in April 2019 decreased by 2.6 percent compared with March, reaching an estimated US$20.6 billion. In the first four months, total import value was estimated at US$78.05 billion, up 10.4 percent compared with the same period last year. Four-month import, export results yielded a trade surplus of about US$711 billion.
Efforts to achieve targets
The MoIT forecast positive changes in the export situation from now until year’s end. US-China trade tensions have benefited Vietnamese exports, bringing Vietnam more export orders from the US. The reduction of US trade and technical barriers to Vietnamese seafood promises opportunities for Vietnam to increase market share in the US.
In April 2019, the first consignment of Vietnamese mangoes was exported to the US at 10-15 percent higher prices compared with exports to other markets. This was good news since Vietnamese vegetable and fruit exports to China are facing difficulties.
FDI keeps flowing into major sectors of the Vietnamese economy, especially processing and manufacturing, helping create more products for export.
However, to achieve the 10 percent export growth target set for 2019, according to the MoIT, Vietnam’s export value in the last eight months must reach at least US$184 billion, nine percent higher compared with the same period last year and averaging about US$23 billion per month. Although export growth often accelerates in the second half of the year, Vietnam will have a hard time achieving the target set for the rest of 2019. This task requires great efforts by state authorities at all levels, as well as all sectors and businesses, especially in the context of global trade showing signs of decline.
Businesses in major industries such as textiles, garments, footwear, timber and wood products have received export
orders for the first half of 2019 and even the whole year.