Vietnam has seen a trade surplus of over 924 million USD with Australia in the first half of this year, the General Department of Customs said.

During the January to June period, Vietnamese exports to Australia rose 24.3 percent year-on-year, reaching 1.89 billion USD, it said, adding that a majority of Vietnam's exported goods to the market had enjoyed an increased turnover over last year's corresponding period.

In the first half of 2014, Vietnam imported over 971.56 million USD worth of goods from Australia, surging 37.3 percent, with major imports including wheat, iron and steel scrap, materials for garment and footwear production, machinery, equipment and cotton.

Crude oil export took the lead with a value of 989 million USD, a yearly rise of 44.1 percent. It was followed by mobile phone and component export with 185 million USD, up 21 percent and seafood export with 105 million USD, up 36.5 percent.

Notably, despite generating a modest export turnover of 19.3 million USD, steel and iron recorded the highest growth of 215.6 percent compared with the same time last year. Other export items such as confectionery, bags, wallets and suitcases, bamboo-made products as well as textiles and garments also experienced encouraging growths.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade's Industry and Trade Information Centre said that the closer geographic distance as compared with other markets such as the EU and US, and the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA), would facilitate Vietnamese exports to Australia.-VNA