US$100 million trade deficit in January

09:31 | 20/02/2014 Trade

(VEN) - Vietnam registered a trade deficit of US$100 million in January 2014, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT). The export prices of some kinds of goods, especially agricultural products, have considerably increased.

Vietnamese rice was exported for a good price in January 2014

Export price increases

Data from the MOIT show that in January 2014, the export value reached an estimated US$10.3 billion, down 11.5 percent compared with December 2013 and 10.8 percent compared with January 2013. The export value of agricultural, forest and aquatic products reached an estimated US$1.51 billion, down 21.3 percent, accounting for 14.7 percent of the total. The export value of fuels and minerals reached an estimated US$0.66 billion, down 32 percent, accounting for 6.4 percent of the total. The export value of processing industry-related products reached an estimated US$7.2 billion, down 7.7 percent, accounting for about 70.4 percent of the total. The export value of other kinds of goods reached an estimated US$0.88 billion, up 9.6 percent, accounting for 8.6 percent of the total.

Although the export volume of many kinds of goods decreased, the MOIT said that the export prices of some kinds of goods, especially agricultural and aquatic products, increased (rice up 3.1 percent, pepper up 1.4 percent, tea up 9.5 percent, cassava and cassava products up 11.1 percent).

According to the Vietnam Food Association, in 2013 Vietnam met difficulties in exporting rice but in January 2014 the country exported an estimated 517,000 tonnes of rice earning US$243 million, up 16.4 percent in terms of volume and 19.5 percent in value compared with January 2013. The export price of Vietnamese rice was stable, US$405-410 per tonne (five percent broken rice), equivalent to the export price of Indian rice but higher than that of Thai and Pakistani rice. Since late 2013, domestic prices of rice have been stable and high due to limited inventories and the implementation of export contracts signed with the Philippines. After Lunar New Year (Tet) holidays, despite a slight decrease in paddy prices, the export price of Vietnamese rice has been stable. This is a good signal for rice exports in 2014.

In January 2014, the export value of ores and minerals increased 74 percent due to a 137 percent increase in the export price of these products compared with January 2013. These are key export products among fuels and minerals.

Imports are well controlled

In January 2014, Vietnam spent an estimated US$10.4 billion on imports, down 14.6 percent compared with December 2013 and 1.9 percent compared with January 2013. The import value of products catering for domestic production and consumption as well as those imported to make products for export reached US$8.94 billion, accounting for 85.9 percent of the total. Meanwhile, the import of consumer goods was well controlled and decreased by 11 percent compared with January 2013.

With these export, import results, Vietnam had a trade deficit of about US$100 million in January 2014, equal to 0.97 percent of the export value. Specifically, domestic businesses spent US$1.08 billion more on imports than what they earned from exports, while those with foreign direct investment (FDI) had a trade surplus of US$0.98 billion.

Like in previous years, the export value of goods decreased in January due to Tet holidays in Vietnam and New Year holidays in countries which import Vietnamese products. Better import, export results are expected in the months to come./.

By Bao Ngoc

Theo ven.vn