With rising export value expected at 9 billion USD in February, Vietnam 's trade balance is likely to fall into deficit, according to the General Statistics Office.

In January, the trade surplus was about 167 million USD, with the trade deficit coming to about 800 million USD in February. Consequently, the deficit in the first two months of this year came to around 628 million USD.

In these first two months, Vietnam earned 15.29 billion USD from exports, a year-on-year increase of 24.8 percent, but it spent more than 15.92 billion USD on imports, up 11.8 percent against the same period last year.

Le Minh Thuy, director of the GSO's Trade Department, partly attributed the rising import value to the fact that foreign-invested firms had bolstered imports of raw materials, accessories and equipment to serve exports.

International companies imported over 8.2 billion USD in the first two months, a year-on-year increase of 36.8 percent. However, lower imports by local firms partly helped ease the trade deficit. The import value of the local economic sector came to 7.69 billion USD, down 6.4 percent from one year ago.

The trade deficit can also be blamed for a strong rise in the import of certain commodities such as electronic and computer spare parts and accessories. Seafood sector imports also rose by nearly 84 percent.

The import value on milk and dairy products posted an increase of 69 percent while the revenue on imported wood and wooden products went up by 65 percent.

The GSO attributed the price hike of imported commodities as a factor in the higher import value.

Although foreign investors spent more on imports, they still took the leading role in export turnover with a total value of 9.61 billion USD, a year-on-year increase of 41.5 percent.

The exports of local firms reflected a more modest growth rate of 4 percent and a combined revenue of 5.68 billion USD.

Some sectors experienced good growth rates including rubber, up 56 percent, textiles and garments, up 25 percent and ceramics, up 26 percent.-VNA