Trade deficit nears $1.5 bln

By Long Bui   July 5, 2021 | 05:00 pm PT
Trade deficit nears $1.5 bln
The Cat Lai Port in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Vietnam had a H1 2021 trade deficit of $1.47 billion, compared with a surplus of $5.86 billion in the same period last year.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade had reported a trade deficit of $1 billion in June, the second straight month that a deficit was recorded.

Between January and June, local firms posted a trade deficit of over $15 billion, while foreign-invested enterprises secured a trade surplus of $13.64 billion.

Production expansion after three waves of Covid-19 before April resulted in increased import of materials by local firms, the ministry explained. Local firms often import more materials in the first half of a year, but this is reduced in the second half, while export intensifies, the ministry said.

Exports of such products to big markets, including the U.S., China and the European Union saw high growth in the first half of this year. Specifically, Vietnam earned $25.1 billion from exporting phones and their components, a year-on-year rise of over 14 percent; $17 billion from machines, equipment, tools and spare parts, up more than 63 percent; $15.2 billion from garments and textiles, up 14.9 percent; and $10.4 billion from footwear, up nearly 28 percent.

The U.S. continued to be Vietnam’s biggest export market with a turnover of over $45 billion, up 43 percent plus, followed by China with $24.6 billion, up 25 percent plus and the European Union with $19.3 billion, up 17.4 percent.

Meanwhile, China was Vietnam’s biggest import market with a turnover of nearly $54 billion, surging 53.6 percent year-on-year. Import turnover from South Korea rose 21.6 percent to $25.2 billion, and from ASEAN surged 49 percent to $21 billion.

Vietnam is set to export more products, mainly electronics, machines, equipment, woodwork, garments, textiles and seafood in the second half of 2021, the ministry said, noting that the U.S. and European countries were removing lockdowns and global demand for goods was recovering.

The country’s imports in the second half of this year is likely to be hit by the ongoing fourth Covid-19 wave in many cities and provinces, especially those with large production and import-export capacity like Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, HCMC, Dong Nai and Binh Duong.

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