Hanoi (VNA)Vietnam’s exports to China hit 5.8 billion USD in the first five months of 2016, an increase of 16.5 percent year on year, while imports from China fell 3.67 percent to 14.73 billion USD, according to the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Vietnam mainly imported machines, equipment, mobile phones, computers, fabrics, iron and steel from China.

Vietnam expects to ship about 20 billion USD worth of commodities to China and spend 48 billion USD on imports from the partner this year. Its trade deficit with China would total 28 billion USD, 13.6 percent lower than last year’s 32.4 billion USD.

The contraction could be a good sign for Vietnam which has long been dependent on exported goods from China.

However, the Ministry of Industry and Trade warned that the figures might not reflect the real trade gap between the two nations. It did not take into account cross-border trade in which China still enjoys a vast surplus.

Vietnam reported 134 billion USD in trade revenue with foreign partners during the period, with export turnover of 67.7 billion USD, up 6.6 percent year on year, and import value of 66.3 billion USD, down 0.9 percent.

The United States continued to be Vietnam’s biggest buyer, importing 14.6 billion USD worth of commodities from Vietnam, up 14.9 percent compared to the same period last year. It was followed by the European Union with 13.3 billion USD in imports, up 11 percent.-VNA