Vietnam records 1 billion USD trade deficit in first half of Jan hinh anh 1A shipping yard Hai Phong port. Vietnam had a trade deficit of about 1 billion USD in the first 15 days of this year. (Photo:
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - Vietnam had a trade deficit of about 1 billion USD in the first 15 days of this year, according to the General Department of Customs.

The total value of the whole country’s exports reached 9.2 billion USD, marking a slight decrease of 71 million USD compared to the same period in 2018. Meanwhile the total import value reached nearly 10.2 billion USD, an increase of 646 million USD.

The nation’s trade deficit in the period, after recording a trade surplus of nearly 6.8 billion USD in 2018, was likely due to the import activity leading up to the Lunar New Year. The holiday causes reduced production and exports coupled with a rise in imports to meet domestic demand.

During the first 15 days of the year, three goods categories recorded an export value of at least 1 billion USD, including textiles and garments, telephones and computers and electronic products.

The number of export goods did not increase compared to the same period in 2018, and telephones saw a significant reduction in export value, according to the department.

Export value of those products reached 1.3 billion USD in the first 15 days of this year while it was more than 2.1 billion USD in the same period of last year. This change contributed to the drop in the nation’s total export value.

In addition, computers, electronic products and components also had a slight decrease in export value to nearly 50 million USD.

Meanwhile, only the textile and garment group achieved export value growth, increasing 13 percent year-on-year to 1.3 billion USD.

In 2018, Vietnam achieved a total trade value of 480.2 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 12.2 percent. Of that number, export value was 243.5 billion USD, up by 13.2 percent, and import value reached 236.7 billion USD, up by 11.1 percent.

The three aforementioned goods categories made the largest gains in export value last year.

Telephones and components continued to have the largest export value at 49.1 billion USD in 2018, an increase of 8.4 percent compared to 2017. China was the largest export market for those products with an export value of 9.38 billion USD, up 31.1 percent year-on-year. The US market was next with a value of 5.4 billion USD, a year-on-year surge of 46.1 percent.

Textile and garment exports ranked second at 30.49 billion USD, up 16.7 percent. Largest export markets for Vietnamese textiles and garments included the US, the European Union, Japan, the Republic of Korea and China.

Computer and electronic products had the third largest export value last year at 29.32 billion USD.-VNS/VNA