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Vietnam trade surplus at $1.9 bln

By Dat Nguyen   May 31, 2020 | 08:21 pm PT
Vietnam trade surplus at $1.9 bln
Farmers harvest rice in southern Soc Trang Province on March 10, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyet Nhi.
Vietnam recorded a trade surplus of $1.9 billion in the first five months with both exports and imports slightly declining amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Exports fell 1.7 percent year-on-year to $99.4 billion, with the biggest markets being the U.S., China, the E.U., ASEAN, and Japan, according to the General Statistics Office (GSO). Two-thirds of the exports were by foreign companies.

Smartphones and parts led with $18 billion, down 8.8 percent, followed by computers and parts, textile and garment and machinery and equipment as 17 items saw shipments exceed $1 billion.

Imports fell 3.7 percent year-on-year to $97.5 billion. China was the largest supplier, accounting for nearly 30 percent, followed by South Korea, ASEAN, Japan, the U.S., and the E.U. Over 93 percent of imports were materials used as inputs for production.

"Covid-19 in Vietnam’s major trade markets has negatively affected exports and imports," the GSO said.

The index of industrial production grew 1 percent year-on-year, compared to 9.5 percent in the same period last year, as both mining and manufacturing fell due to supply chains being disrupted by the pandemic.

Although drought and saltwater intrusion have caused some difficulties for agriculture, rice exports saw a 17 percent increase to $1.4 billion, with a 36 percent year-on-year growth in May.

Vietnam’s trade surplus, for a fourth year in a row, reached a record $9.9 billion last year.

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