The return of the trade surplus

09:50 | 26/09/2017 Trade

(VEN) - A trade surplus recorded in the second half of July 2017 helped Vietnam reduce the trade deficit in the first eight months to US$2.13 billion. As a result, the annual targets set for this year’s foreign trade are believed to be feasible.

the return of the trade surplus
Vietnam exported about US$135.5 billion worth of goods in the first eight months of this year

Surprising results

According to the Domestic Market Management Team, Vietnam exported US$18.2 billion worth of goods in August, a rise of three percent compared with July.

The export value of processing industry-related products, such as textiles and garments, computers, telephones, components, machinery, equipment and instruments, grew considerably, while the export value of agricultural products and minerals, such as vegetables, coffee, cashew, pepper and crude oil, decreased slightly.

Vietnam spent US$17.8 billion on imports in August, a rise of 2.3 percent compared with July. These foreign trade results brought Vietnam a surplus of about US$400 million.

In the second half of July, Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of US$266 million. This was a surprising result because Vietnam faced a continuous trade deficit in the first six months of 2017. The trade deficit in the first four months (4.4 percent of total export value) even exceeded the level allowed by the National Assembly (3.5 percent). This was attributed to the fact that a number of major businesses, such as Samsung, the Electricity of Vietnam Group (EVN), and Viettel, boosted the import of machinery, equipment and materials for their investment projects.

The trade surplus in July and August has helped reduce the deficit in the first eight months to US$2.13 billion, equivalent to 1.6 percent of total export value, far below the level allowed by the National Assembly.

Looking towards annual targets

Vietnam exported about US$135.5 billion worth of goods in the first eight months of this year, up 17.9 percent compared with the same period in 2016. The export value of agricultural, forest and aquatic products, processing industry-related products, fuels and minerals grew 18-29.4 percent.

Meanwhile, import value in the first eight months reached an estimated US$135.63 billion, up 22.3 percent compared with the same period last year.

According to Phan Sinh, Deputy Director of the Information Technology and Customs Trade Statistics Department under the General Department of Vietnam Customs, both import and export value in the first eight months grew at higher rates compared with forecasts.

Phan Sinh believes Vietnam can achieve or even exceed the annual targets set for 2017 foreign trade, and this will create a motive force for the country to make further efforts to promote sustainable export growth in the years to come.

At their regular press conference in August, government officials predicted that Vietnam would achieve or exceed all the 13 socioeconomic development targets set for 2017. They also forecast a more-than-14 percent increase in export value, double the set target of 6-7 percent.

Phuong Lan