Vietnam posts US$300-million trade surplus in February

08:16 | 07/03/2015 Trade

(VEN) - According to the General Statistics Office (GSO), Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of US$300 million in February with the export revenue of nearly US$23 billion, but imported around US$61 million more than it exported in the first two months of this year.

Vietnam posts US$300-million trade surplus in February

Exports were estimated at US$9.6 billion in February, down 28.4 percent against January, bringing export revenue in the first two months of this year to nearly US$23 billion, a year on year increase of 8.6 percent. Domestic enterprises contributed US$7 billion to this figure, a slight increase of 0.7 percent while that of the foreign-invested sector (including oil exporters) reached US$16 billion, up 12.4 percent over the same period last year.

The leading exports in February were electronic devices and computers, leather and footwear, garments and textiles. Specifically, the export revenue of electronic devices, computers and spare parts increased by 57.1 percent to reach US$4 billion, while that of pepper grew by 35.8 percent; handbags, cases, hats and umbrellas up 32.8 percent and footwear up by 30.4 percent.

The declining export revenue recorded in February was due to the nine-day Lunar New Year holiday.

Import revenues of materials for production also reduced compared with the same period last year. The import revenue in February estimated at US$9.3 billion, a decrease of 32.4 percent compared with January. In the first two months of this year, the import value was estimated at US$23 billion, a year on year increase of 16.3 percent. The leading imports were automobiles (up 61.9 percent year on year), followed by machinery and equipment, devices and spare parts, electronic items and computers, plastic products, telephones and accessories.

Looking at the growth of key exports we can see that apart from automobiles due to the higher demand for luxury products during the Tet holidays, the growth of other commodities were of inputs to serve production. This was a good sign that showed a possible recovery of the domestic production sector in the coming months.

Vietnam achieved a trade surplus of US$300 million in February. However, in the first two months, the country saw a trade deficit of around US$61 million, of which the trade deficit of domestic economic sector was US$2.07 billion while the foreign sector posted a trade surplus of US$2.01 billion.

February usually sees a set-back in the trade revenues in Vietnam’s key export markets, with trade revenues set to increase again from March onwards. The GSO also anticipated that after the three consecutive years of posting a trade surplus, Vietnam could possibly face a trade deficit in 2015. This is also predictable because a series of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) have been concluded and are going to be signed such as the FTAs with the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia, and the Republic of Korea. Vietnamese enterprises are expected to boost import and production activities in advance of the tax incentives these markets will offer in the future. 

By Lan Phuong