14:40 | 25/03/2016 Industry
(VEN) - The industry and trade sector saw many highlights in the first two months of this year as industrial production continued its growth momentum; domestic trade met demand; and the country registered an export surplus.
The industrial production index increased by 6.6 percent in the first two months of this year
Industrial production continued the growth momentum
According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the industrial production index increased by 5.9 percent in January, up by 7.9 percent in February and up by 6.6 percent in the first two months of this year. Of this, the processing and manufacturing sector grew by 8.5 percent, power production and distribution up by 12.8 percent, and water supply and garbage and wastewater treatment up by 9.2 percent.
Major industries contributed to the growth including metal production increasing by 25.3 percent in two months, motorized vehicles up by 14.8 percent, non-metal mineral products up by 12.1 percent, clothes up by 10.3 percent, power up by 13.6 percent, liquefied petroleum gas up by 13.4 percent, raw iron and steel up by 16.7 percent, steel bars and equal-angle steel up by 28.3 percent, TV sets up by 27.7 percent, and automobiles up by 38.8 percent.
Sales in the processing and manufacturing sector in January increased by 8.6 percent from a year ago creating a growth engine for industrial production in the early months of the year.
Industrial production continued to grow in the first two months of the year. However, growth was less than in the same period last year, largely because the mining industry fell by 1.7 percent, electric appliance production shrank by 1.4 percent, while electronics, computer and optic appliance production increased by just 1.1 percent.
Continuous export surplus
Exports reached about US$10.3 billion in February, an 8.4 percent increase from a year ago and a 22.9 percent drop from January, and US$23.66 billion in the first two months of the year, a 2.9 percent increase from a year ago.
The processing sector continued to prove its leading role in terms of export with revenues of almost US$19.1 billion in two months, a 5.4 percent increase from a year ago, contributing 80.6 percent of total export earnings. However, several major export items such as telephones, telephone accessories, computers, electronic accessories, film cameras and film camera accessories, which grew fairly high in 2015, did not increase much from January-February, adversely affecting Vietnamese export growth.
The agriculture, forestry and fishery sector took second place with export revenues of US$2.95 billion, a 9.7 percent increase from a year ago accounting for 12.5 percent of total export earnings.
Notably, exports from this sector started to bounce back in early months of the year, after numerous difficulties and challenges in 2015. Excluding cassava, export volumes of all categories in the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector grew. Rice exports amounted to 1.01 million tonnes and US$445 million in two months, almost twice that in the same period last year both in terms of volume and value. Rice exports are promising this year since global demand will increase rapidly as a result of El Nino.
Exports in the fuel and mineral sector reached only US$0.41 billion in two months, a 51.7 percent decline from a year ago.
Import purchases were estimated at almost US$22.8 billion in two months, a 6.6 percent decrease from a year ago.
The export surplus reached US$100 million in February and US$865 million in two months accounting for 3.7 percent of export revenues./.