The national trade deficit reached 58 million USD in the first seven months of this year, representing only 0.09 percent of total export value, the General Statistics Office (GSO) has reported.

This followed a decline in imports of 323 million USD from May to June, and 390 million USD from June to July.

GSO's Trade Department Director Le Thi Minh Thuy said it reflects how the country's demand has declined, and attributed the situation to unstable financial and economic conditions both globally and domestically.

In the first seven months, total imports reached nearly 63 billion USD, up 7.3 percent over the same period last year. Domestic sectors imported 30.09 billion USD, down 7.3 percent, while the foreign -invested sector imported 32.9 billion USD, an increase of 25.3 percent.

In July, for the first time this year, the country saw a trade surplus of 100 million USD thanks to significant declines in imports since June.

According to the GSO, import values of many materials and fuel used for production grew insignificantly or decreased compared to the same period last year.

The value of fabric imported posted a slight increase of 0.3 percent reaching 3.96 billion USD, while automobile imports fell the most at 34.1 percent with a total value of nearly 1.2 billion USD.

Other articles witnessing import turnover declines included petroleum, down 8.7 percent; animal feed, falling 6.9 percent; textile fibre, down 14.9 percent; and iron and steel, decreasing 3.7 percent.

Meanwhile, exports totalled 62.93 billion USD in the first seven months of the year, up 19 percent over the same period last year, an increase of about 2.5 times that of import growth.

Electronic goods and spare parts were major exports with a total value amounting to 10.21 billion USD, of which computers expanded 81.3 percent and telephones soared by 151.6 percent.

While domestic sectors reached an export value of 23.89 billion USD, down 1.65 percent, foreign-invested businesses saw a 36.6 percent increase in exports with a total value of 39.41 billion USD.-VNA