Vietnam’s commodity consumption picked up in the first half of this year, prompting slides in inventories across the board, a senior trade and industry official has reported.

At a teleconference reviewing national industry and trade performance in Hanoi on August 5, Nguyen Tien Vy, Head of the Planning Department of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, said in the period, consumption index of the manufacturing and processing industry leaped 8.3 percent year on year.

Several sectors posted stable rises in consumption, including beers (up12.4 percent), apparels (up 40 percent), footwear (up 28.7 percent), and communication devices (up 16.3 percent).

As a result, the inventory level of the industry in July saw a 0.9 percentage point decrease from the preceding month and plunged from 21.5 percent to 8.8 percent during January-July.

In July, industrial production index rose 7 percent from the same period last year and marked a year-on-year increase of 5.2 percent on the seventh-month basis.

The Ministry of Trade and Industry, however, remarked that the industrial production index, though growing from month to month this year as well as from the same periods last year, remained low, reflecting difficulties facing businesses’ production.

In August, the Ministry will concentrate on consolidating goods distribution networks and expanding consumption markets to reduce inventories of businesses further.

A number of supportive policies will be deployed to bring more locally-made products to rural, remote areas, while import-related policies will be adjusted to facilitate investment and production expansion schemes, the Ministry said.

Besides, inspections on imported food and foodstuff will be tightened to ensure standards on food safety and hygiene and environmental protection conform to international regulations, it stressed.-VNA