Five-month trade surplus surges

09:05 | 29/06/2018 Trade

(VEN) - With a trade surplus of US$3.39 billion, exports continued to make up a bright point in the economic picture of the first five months of 2018, rising at a faster rate than imports.

five month trade surplus surges

Export growth

According to the Domestic Market Management Team, the export value reached an estimated US$19.2 billion in May 2018, a rise of 4.5 percent compared with April. In the first five months, the export value reached an estimated US$93.09 billion, 15.8 percent higher compared with the same period in 2017. Of this total, US$26.43 billion was the domestic sector’s contribution, up 17.8 percent; and US$66.66 billion was the export value of the foreign invested sector, including crude oil, up 15 percent.

While a deficit of US$500 million was recorded in May, in the first five months foreign trade yielded a surplus of US$3.39 billion. The domestic economic sector posted a US$10.39 billion deficit, while the foreign sector saw a surplus of US$13.78 billion (including crude oil). In 2016 and 2017, the trade surplus for each year was about US$2.7 billion. Nguyen Thi Mai Linh, an official from the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Foreign Trade Agency, said the export value of many groups of products grew in the early months of this year.

Telephones and components topped the list of export products, with five-month value reaching US$19.5 billion, up 19.8 percent compared with the same period last year.

The export value of seafood reached US$3.1 billion, up 11.1 percent; fruit and vegetables, US$1.7 billions, up 19.6 percent; rice, US$1.6 billion, up 51.1 percent; cashew nuts, US$1.4 billion, up 25.3 percent. Linh said Vietnam exported 2.66 million tonnes of rice in the first five months, with additional growth expected due to high demand of key markets, such as Indonesia, the Philippines and China. “High-quality rice, such as white and fragrant rice, account for 80 percent of total export value. The export value of glutinous rice has also increased due to large-volume purchases by Chinese importers,” Linh said.

Preventing oversupply

Despite satisfactory results, some export activities are unsustainable. According to Linh, China’s high demand has encouraged farmers in some localities to expand the cultivation of glutinous rice, risking oversupply if demand changes. The Ministry of Industry and Trade therefore has asked the Vietnam Food Association and the Agriculture and Rural Development Departments of localities to provide farmers with accurate information about market demand.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade will promote negotiations to seek new export markets for Vietnamese goods, while at the same time intensifying trade promotion and brand building. It is determined to cope with trade defense and protection measures that are incompliant with international commitments. Administrative reform will be accelerated; and the provision of market information will be improved to facilitate export activities.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade will keep a close watch on the US anti-dumping taxes against Vietnamese tra and

basa fish. It will also tighten management over cross-border trade to protect domestic production and promote


Bao Ngoc