Vietnam faces trade deficit despite over-130-billion-USD export hinh anh 1Enterprises are active in pandemic prevention and production stabilisation. (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) - In spite of the fact that the COVID-19 epidemic has affected production activities of enterprises at industrial parks, Vietnam’s total import and export turnover still sustained its growth momentum in the first five months. However, trade deficit also returned.

Five-month export value exceeds 130 billion USD

Vietnam shipped overseas 130.94 billion USD worth of goods in the first five months of 2021, up 30.7 percent annually, according to a report from the Ministry of Industry and Trade

Of the sum, the domestic sector contributed 33.06 billion USD and the FDI sector (including crude oil) 97.88 billion USD, increasing 16.6 and 36.3 percent year on year, respectively.

During the period, 22 products recorded an export value of over 1 billion USD each and together they accounted for some 87.3 percent of the nation’s total export.

Among them were phones and components with 21.9 billion USD; electronic devices, computers and components 19.5 billion USD; machinery, equipment and spare parts 14.9 billion USD; and garment and textile 12.2 billion USD.

Cao Huu Hieu, deputy director general of the Vietnam National Textile and Garment Group (Vinatex), said COVID-19 developments have brought up the global prices of cotton.

However, previous waves of the pandemic made both firms and their workers highly adaptive, more vigilant and well prepared, he added. The value reeled in from overseas shipments of the sector during the five months increased by 15 percent year-on-year.

Agro-forestry-fishery exports also posted good growth in the period, at 10.99 billion USD, up 12.8 percent against the same period in 2020.

The US remained the biggest export market of Vietnam, spending 37.6 billion USD on imports from the Southeast Asian country, a year-on-year rise of 49.8 percent. China came second with 20.1 billion USD, up 26 percent. The EU and ASEAN followed with 16.1 billion USD and 11.5 billion USD, increasing by 20.8 and 23.7 percent.

In May alone, Vietnam’s exports valued at 26 billion USD, down 2.1 percent over the previous month and up 35.6 percent year-on-year.

Production stabilisation on the focus

Meanwhile, the country’s import in the five-month period hit 131.31 billion USD, an annual growth of 36.4 percent, with China named Vietnam’s biggest import market.

Annual turnover increases were recorded for most of imported products such as computers, electronic goods and components up 24.7 percent; machinery, equipment, and spare parts 35.9 percent; and phones and components 51.3 percent.

In May alone, the import value hit 28 billion USD, rising 0.8 percent on-month and 56.4 percent on-year.

Import activities ramped up in the first five months of 2021 thanks to the expansion of the manufacturing sector, which boosted the demand for imported input materials and the recovery of domestic demand, said a representative of the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

With such imports and exports, Vietnam posted a trade deficit of 2 billion USD in May and 369 million USD between January and May.

Amid the complicated developments of the pandemic, it is highly important to stabilise production, especially at industrial parks. This was also a priority put forth by Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien during his recent working session with Bac Giang and Bac Ninh provinces, the current two COVID-19 hotspots, which are home to a large number of industrial parks.

Accordingly, the minister requested the Import-Export Department to coordinate with the Foreign Market Department, and other ministries, agencies and localities to handle problems facing the customs clearance process at the border in order to create favourable conditions for goods circulation.

Dien also requested the compliance with pandemic regulations, including the 5K message; pandemic safety level assessment; and frequent update on the COVID-19 map at industrial parks.

The Ministry of Health’s 5K message consists of khau trang (facemask), khu khuan (disinfection), khoang cach (distance), khong tu tap (no gathering), and khai bao y te (health declaration).

The minister also asked competent agencies to assist firms in finding stable input supply sources of goods and materials for their production./.