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Vietnam Trade Deficit Estimated to Surge to US$3.51B in Q1: GSO

Vietnam’s trade deficit is estimated to have surged to US$3.51 billion in the first quarter of 2010, compared to the revised trade surplus of US$1.499 billion last Q1, the General Statistics Office said on March 26.
The figure accounts for 25.05% of the country’s total export value and is US$910 billion higher than the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s estimate in early March.

The trade gap surge is attributed to falling values of export staples such as crude oil and rice and rising imports of petroleum products, electronics, machinery and equipment, the office said.

Vietnam has exported US$14.014 billion worth of goods during the quarter, down 1.6% on-year, including US$5.15 billion in March, up 37.7% on-month but down 3.05% on-year.

Apparel has been the country’s biggest cash earner with US$2.16 billion, up 12.3% on-year.

Vietnam’s other key exports have been crude oil with US$1.338 billion, down 9.6% on-year, footwear with US$1.03 billion, up 10.1%, seafood with US$861 million, up 14.5% and rice with US$677 million, down 16.8%.

The country is estimated to have imported US$17.525 billion worth of goods in Q1, up 37.6% on-year, including US$6.5 billion in March, up 28.2% on-month and 28.89% on-year.

Vietnam’s main imports have bee machines and equipment worth US$2.826 billion, up 10.8%, petroleum products worth US$1.6 billion, up 33.2%, steel and iron worth US$1.03 billion, up 26%, electronics, computers and equipment worth US$1 billion, up 53.1%.

In early January, the MoIT targets export growth of 7% to US$61 billion this year, 1% higher than the NA’s approved target and aims to limit the country’s trade deficit at US$12.2 billion, equaling 20% of the total exports.

The high trade gap in Q1 will be a difficulty for the ministry to realize the set target, Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Bien said at a meeting Mar. 25. (GSO March 2010)

Source: Vietnam Business Forum