Trade surplus in ten months rises to record high hinh anh 1Enterprises step up production to mitigate negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (Photo: VietnamPlus).

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam’s trade surplus hit a record high of 18.72 billion USD during the January - October period as imports slowed down amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT).
Exports in the ten-month period expanded 4.7 percent year-on-year, with shipments of the domestic sector surging 0.7 percent, accounting for 28.7 percent of total export revenue, while that of the foreign-invested sector (including crude oil) rising by 6.5 percent, making up 71.3 percent of the value.

“This is an encouraging result in the context that the COVID-19 has battered global trade”, an MoIT representative said.

However, a wide range of Vietnamese products have been affected by the pandemic, such as the agro-forestry-fishery group, which earned the nation some 20.3 billion USD, a year-on-year fall of 3.1 percent. To be more specific, the export value of seafood declined 2.5 percent, vegetables 12.5 percent, cashew nuts 3.4 percent, coffee 0.7 percent, pepper 15.2 percent, rubber 4.2 percent, and tea 5.6 percent.

Vietnam’s key exports like garment and textile, and leather shoes suffer a decline in both supply and demand as major buyers delayed or canceled orders due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the processing sector was the main driving force of the export growth since it contributed 194.37 billion USD to the export revenue in the ten months, up 5.3 percent from the same time last year.

During the 10-month period, 31 goods earned over 1 billion USD each from exports, accounting for 91.8 percent of the total. Five brought home more than 10 billion USD each, or 59.9 percent.

Heavy industry and mining raked in 123.8 billion USD, up 8.4 percent year-on-year. Light industry and handicrafts, meanwhile, reported revenue of 81.8 billion USD, up 1.5 percent; agro-forestry 16.8 billion USD, down 1.5 percent; and fisheries 6.9 billion USD, down 2.5 percent.

The US remained the largest importer of Vietnamese goods in the ten months, with turnover of 62.3 billion USD, up 24 percent year-on-year. It was followed by China, with 37.6 billion USD, up 14 percent; the EU 28.9 billion USD, down 3 percent; ASEAN 18.9 billion USD, down 11.6 percent; the Republic of Korea (RoK) 16.3 billion USD, down 2.6 percent; and Japan 15.6 billion USD, down 7 percent.

Total imports in October were estimated at 24.5 billion USD, up 1.2 percent month-on-month and 10.1 percent year-on-year. Ten-month imports totalled 210.55 billion USD, up 0.4 percent year-on-year.

As many as 34 types of goods saw import turnover exceeding 1 billion USD, accounting for 89.4 percent of the total.

China remained Vietnam’s largest import source, with revenue standing at 65.8 billion USD, an increase of 6.2 percent against the same period last year. It was followed by the Republic of Korea (RoK), with 37.4 billion USD, down 5.3 percent; ASEAN 24.4 billion USD, down 8.5 percent; Japan 16.5 billion USD, up 2.5 percent; the EU 11.8 billion USD, up 4.2 percent; and the US 11.6 billion USD, down 2.4 percent.

As there are two months left to complete the set target for exports, the MoIT ordered competent authorities to sharpen focus on removing bottlenecks for local firms so that they can promote production activities.

Analysts believed that the export growth and the trade surplus are the result of the major efforts undertaken amid falling exports and slowing growth in many regional countries.

Trade surplus in ten months rises to record high hinh anh 2Garment and textile sector invests heavily in technology to improve productivity (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Cao Quoc Hung said industrial production, export, and domestic trade in 2020 may show better performance than estimates made in July, adding that MoIT has forecast that exports will climb 3-4 percent compared to 2019.

However, to further boost exports in the two remaining months of the year, the ministry will overhaul and introduce policies in a more concerted and effective manner to promote trade and expand markets.

Apart from the stronger application of e-commerce and digital platforms to maintain relations with importers and foster shipments, it will also order subordinate agencies to push ahead with improving the business climate and national competitiveness, and creating the conditions necessary for enterprises to prepare for optimising new-generation FTAs, Hung said./.