Free trade deal boosts Vietnam's petrol imports from South Korea

By Ha Phuong   August 12, 2017 | 10:21 pm GMT+7

Vietnamese companies are turning away from Chinese petroleum suppliers in favor of South Korean.

Between January and July this year, Vietnamese firms imported around 1.72 million tons of petroleum from South Korea, marking a jump of 200 percent against the same period last year, latest data from Vietnam's customs showed.

The surge of petroleum imports from the East Asian country comes after a free trade agreement between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and South Korea came into effect in early 2016, lowering the import tariff on gasoline from 20 percent to 10 percent.

Meanwhile, petrol imports from traditional market China, which face a 20 percent tariff, witnessed an on-year decrease of 18 percent to 600,000 tons.

In total, Vietnam imported 7.55 million tons of petroleum worth $3.9 billion so far this year, marking a 34.2 percent jump in value from the same period last year.

Singapore remains Vietnam's the biggest petroleum supplier with 3.06 million tons. Petrol imports from ASEAN countries made up nearly 70 percent of Vietnam's total imports.

Vietnam exported around 1.2 million tons of petroleum in the first seven months, down 2 percent compared to the same period last year, mostly to Cambodia, Laos and China