08:37 | 06/12/2018 Trade
(VEN) - In the first 10 months of 2018, Vietnam exported US$200.27 billion worth of goods, almost equivalent to the export value achieved in the whole year of 2017 (US$214 billion). A high trade surplus has increased Vietnam’s foreign currency reserves, helping it stabilize the foreign exchange market and improve its balance of international payments.
Export value surges
Information presented at the October meeting of the Domestic Market Management Team showed that Vietnam exported an estimated US$20.8 billion worth of goods in October 2018. Despite a 1.5 percent decrease compared with September, the ten-month export value reached US$200.27 billion, up 14.2 percent compared with the same period last year.
The export value of the domestic sector reached US$56.82 billion, up 16.8 percent; the foreign-invested sector (including crude oil businesses): US$143.45 billion, accounting for 71.6 percent of the total and up 13.2 percent. The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT)’s Foreign Trade Agency noted that for the first time, the export results of the domestic sector grew at a faster rate than those of the foreign-invested sector.
Processing industry products, especially textiles, garments, leather, footwear and wood products, contributed significantly to the export growth in the first 10 months.
Despite declines in prices, the export value of agricultural, forest and aquatic products grew 2.6 percent due to increases in volume. Rice, fruit, vegetables and seafood topped the export growth list. Specifically, rice exports grew 7.6 percent in volume and 22.1 percent in value; fruit and vegetable exports were up 15.2 percent in value; and seafood exports grew 6.9 percent in value. In the context of oversupplies in the global market, importing countries have tightened non-tariff barriers by applying strict requirements in terms of insecticide residue and food safety. The export growth of agricultural products reflects their improved quality.
Maintaining a trade surplus
In October 2018, Vietnam imported US$20.7 billion worth of goods, a 6.1 percent increase compared with September. In the first 10 months, the import value reached US$193.84 billion, up 11.8 percent compared with the same period last year. Major imports included seafood, coal, crude oil, materials for animal feed production, and other production materials. Products, the import of which is subject to specific controls, accounted for only 6.5 percent of total import value.
These import, export results yielded a trade surplus of US$100 million in October and US$6.42 billion in the first 10 months.
The MoIT predicted that the global economy would continue growing strongly in the next several months and bring about a demand recovery. Meanwhile, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) expected to take effect next year have created new opportunities for Vietnam to attract foreign direct investment. Domestic investment is also forecast to increase due to favorable conditions in terms of business environment, monetary policies, exchange rates and interest rates. Therefore, the MoIT forecast the 2018 export value would grow 10-12 percent compared with 2017 and reach US$239-240 billion; import value US$237 billion; and trade surplus US$2-3 billion.